With an estimated 1.4 billion metric tons of coal slag used to produce electricity, slag is one of the worlds most important pollutants.
The coal used in coal-fired power plants can emit CO 2 -2.8 million metric tons annually, or about 3 percent of global emissions, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The slag can also leach carbon dioxide and other toxic metals into groundwater, according the IEA.
Slag production is also a major contributor to smog and air pollution.
To reduce slag’s emissions, Germany and several European countries have implemented measures to control the amount of coal in the countrys power sector.
But the country’s coal consumption is growing at a faster rate than its coal consumption.
In 2016, coal consumption in Germany fell by 5.2 percent, while the consumption of coal-based electricity grew by 10.5 percent.
The country’s energy sector has also been hit by a wave of natural disasters, including the 2011 tsunami in the northeastern German province of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the 2010 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
Germany also plans to phase out coal use by 2050, according German energy minister Alexander Dobrindt, who said last year that the country was close to achieving its emissions reduction targets.
As a result, coal mining is expected to grow by 20 percent annually from 2021 to 2032.
Germany currently has the world lead in coal production, according an IEA report released in 2016.
The United States, which has been producing nearly all of its coal since the 1970s, has more than 20 times as much coal as Germany.
The US coal industry has produced more than 4 million metric ton of coal for power generation in 2020, according data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In addition to the CO 2 emissions, the coal industry also emits mercury, sulfur dioxide and heavy metals, according Toeplitz, a professor at the University of Sussex in the U, UK.
Toepplitz said the country has an overall health problem with coal, and coal mining contributes to that problem.
“The health risks to human beings from the coal mining are much greater than the health risks from other industrial activities,” Toeppa said.
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