Death to Coal: But How?

solar panels on building roof
Solar panels are a popular way to bring in renewable energy to a building.

Chewonki Semester School / Flickr

If we have any chance of surviving as an advancing world society, we need to stop burning coal, full stop. Not cut back by 50 percent over 50 years. We need to stop burning it entirely within a decade. It's 350 ppm, or things get really, really bad. Coal powered electricity must die.

To get an idea of how that's even possible, you can look to Ontario, Canada. EnviroWonk is reporting pretty amazing news from Canada's most populous province. Between 2003 and 2006 Ontario cut its coal use by 32 percent. Utilities have to buy power at a premium from homes and businesses with renewable energy systems like solar panels until 2026, which has spurred a frenzy of green energy installations.

The province worked with the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and other interested parties in their efforts. It moved from 25% coal use in 2003 to zero percent use by 2014. Most astonishingly, Ontario met all its 10-year renewable energy procurement goals in just over one year.

That's how you get it done.