Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution.
Some 1.2 billion people around the world lack access to electricity. 2.8 billion burn charcoal, wood, or other biomass to cook and heat their homes. Lack of access to clean, reliable energy services, or “energy poverty,” is a terrible problem for those who face it, leading to hours of drudgery gathering fuels and high mortality from indoor pollution (which kills around 4 million people a year).
Energy poverty stands in the way of better health, better education, and better jobs. Development experts increasingly agree that there is no way to end extreme poverty without making energy access universal.
Meanwhile, the coal industry finds its fortunes on the decline in the developed world, losing out to natural gas and renewables. All its hopes for survival, much less growth, rest with the developing world.