Effects of coal mining on the environment

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Tons of coal mined

Globally, this year

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4,271,700,737

Tons of coal mined

Globally, this year

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The effects of coal mining on...
the environment are pretty serious - both the extraction and burning of coal have negative effects on people and planet. Nonetheless, if nothing changes we will have increased our coal consumption with over 50 percent by 2030.

Top 5 facts about coal mining

1

Coal powers the world

Coal is the largest source of electricity in the world. Each year we mine enough coal to give over 1 ton of it to every single person on the planet.


2

It harms the environment

Environmentally damaging surface mining methods have overtaken underground mining as the predominant way of extracting coal.


3

Visible from outer space

There has been the rise in so-called mountaintop removal mining, where tops of whole mountains are blasted away to get to the coal seams underneath. Several open-pit mine craters are so large that they are visible from outer space.


4

Our mining of coal is growing

If nothing changes, we will have increased our coal consumption with over 50 percent by 2030. Most of this enormous increase will be happening in India and China.


5

The burning of coal is another story

Check out Energy & Climate section to explore the damaging effects of turning coal into energy.



Coal mining

About 7.7 billion tons of coal is mined a year.


Coal powers the world

It harms the environment

Visible from outer space

Our mining of coal is growing

The burning of coal is another story

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