Gallery: Want to stop global warming? STOP COAL!



Coal is the only fossil fuel plentiful enough and supposedly ‘cheap’ enough to push the planet to 450 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere – an event which will trigger potentially irreversible glacial melt and sea level rise. 53% of Americans live in and around coastal cities and towns and, beginning with just one meter of sea level rise, many of these cities and towns will be inundated.

Architecture2030 is making their opposition to coal abundantly clear- continuing their anti-coal campaign, they’ve released a full page spread in The New York Times last Friday that read, “Want to stop global warming? Stop Coal.” What follows is a compelling case for ending our reliance on coal, supported by graphics and statistics that blame coal for global warming, along with a plan of action to repair the damage.

Based on their statistics, Architecture2030 predicts that based on our current rate of growth and coal usage, the planet will reach 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by 2035, triggering everything from glacial melting to rising sea levels. We are currently at 385 ppm, and are increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 at approx. 2 ppm annually.

The STOP COAL campaign goes on, serving as a call to action for drastic changes:

“We call for a moratorium on new conventional coal plants and phase out existing coal plants. This puts an immediate cap on coal plant emissions while allowing enough time to retrain coal workers for healthier jobs.”

We applaud Architecture2030 for taking these bold steps, and for proving that they’re actually achievable. Here, they outline how these goals can be met, and identify buildings and architecture as both a source of and opportunity to curb global warming:

Can we do it?

YES! We’ve done it before.
Over an 11-year period (1973–1983), the United States built approx. 30 billion square feet of new buildings, added approx. 35 million new vehicles and increased real GDP by over one trillion dollars (in year 2000 dollars) while decreasing its energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Where do we start?


Buildings use 76% of all the electrical energy produced at coal plants.

Buildings are the single largest contributor to global warming, accounting for almost half (48%) of total annual US energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

What’s the plan?

By implementing The 2030 Challenge to reduce building energy use of new and renovated buildings by a minimum of 50%, we negate the need for new coal plants.

Renovating existing buildings to consume 50% less fossil fuel energy allows for new buildings that meet the 50% reduction to be built without increasing the Building Sector’s energy demand.

Then, by reducing building energy use of new buildings an additional 10% every five years to achieve carbon neutral by 2030, and by using renewable energy, we ultimately negate the need for existing coal plants.

The 2030 Challenge, a global initiative, has been adopted and supported by the US Conference of Mayors, American Institute of Architects, US Green Building Council, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, National Association of Counties, EPA’s Target Finder and numerous states, counties and cities.


+ Architecture2030

To view and download the actual ad, click here.
To view a map of proposed plants in the US, click here.


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  1. paulus aarts February 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

    They start to build a coal plant in Lamu-county Kenya. Every body is taken by surprise ! People are afraid to protest or have no idea what will happen to their environment. Pls help us to stop this before it’s to late. We want ideas were to begin, who to contact etc.
    Thank you for your concern
    People of Lamu

  2. gayness December 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Ilove purple mafia

  3. glen godfrey September 21, 2010 at 2:31 am

    The best you can do to save our Earth is, encourage others to Conserve. Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment. You can organize social programs and plays to make people realize, the hazards of Global Warming. Cover your pots while cooking because, it saves a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers they can save around 70% of energy. To know such more tips:

  4. lucioj November 2, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Hi, my name is Lucio Vargas, I am Mexican, I live in Mexico City, I would like to know someone who is interest in a new system in order to produce electricity, this system is very simply, but efficient and works, my problem is that here in Mexico there are not people whit vision, so if there is someone who can invest in investigation , we can make a deal, please write me, thanks.

  5. selwynr October 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Hello, great site and I agree that efficiency is the easiest current path to curb emissions, but still not enough. Solar and wind need to be rolled out at teh same time. Coal is deat, make no mistake.

    Please help me get my numbers up on my Care2 petition:

    would be much appreciated as every example of opposition to coal is necessary,

    Thank you,

    Selwyn Rodda

  6. Inhabitat » Al Go... July 21, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    […] letting go of coal which currently represents about 50% of the US’s electric power, and is a huge contributor to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. But the challenge has been tossed into the arena, and even if industry drags and lags, individuals […]

  7. Tina October 22, 2007 at 2:49 am

    hi guys.. i stumbled across your site while researching on climate change and coal emmisions. i would first like to thank you for this wonderful site. I am an economics student, and for my macroeconomics subject, i am involved in a debate regarding climate change. the topic stresses that we should immediately introduce targets to reduce carbon emissions. I am for the affirmative so i will have no problem defending this statement. but i am just wondering for the opposing side, what can they possibly argue to reject that statement? That its too expensive? climate change is the biggest issue today!

  8. Buyck Ruben October 11, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Its high time for action. Sign petitions to stop coal as energie for buildings, the same for oil end other as gaz…

    Buildings have to be 100% pure natural. Energy provided by solar-pannels, wind, bio-mass end many other ecological technics!

    Put it in a law!

  9. Buzz October 10, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    “Because… we are either going to cut back and sacrifice starting NOW or IT’S OVER, Folks!!”

    Won’t happen. No sense even thinking that it will.

  10. Naomi October 8, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    This crisis and it’s immediacy requires that we “do it all” when it comes to stopping Global Climate Change. Conservation… higher fuel standards… more efficient buildings… wind power… solar power… and stoping the expansion of coal plants, etc., etc…

    Because… we are either going to cut back and sacrifice starting NOW or IT’S OVER, Folks!!

    Isn’t human/global ( or *YOUR OWN*) survival worth giving up some of the cozy, self-indugent comforts?? Give a little now… and more as quickly as we are able to… or lose everything. That’s the question we all must answer.

    Being a mother… I have already started this evolutionary process and am doing everything I can to cut back… as an individual, at home and in my community. And I am also helping in the fight for more progressive policies toward ending this culture’s addiction to cheap… well, *everything*!

    Less is more.

  11. orrin October 5, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Here in the united states if our homes used less energy that would only give us a reason to expand and build more buildings to use the unused energy. There has to be a whole shift in how we live in order for drastic change to happen on this front and I don’t see that happening until it is too late and we just have to adapt to the way the world is.

    Just my 3 cents.

  12. hp October 5, 2007 at 4:23 am
  13. hp October 5, 2007 at 4:20 am

    Unfortunately if we remove the “smog” in our atmosphaer the Global Warming may going to explode.

    Take a look at the “Global Dimming”. It looks that this “Gobal Dimming” effect is masking the Global Warming effect. If you remove it, the warming process will speed up..massiv

    Best regards from Germany,

  14. disgustedandamused October 4, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Coal itself may help by running out. I don’t know how many people who follow global warming are also aware of the “Peak Oil Theory,” but according to this theory, we are close to reaching the halfway point in consuming the planet’s conventional sources of petroleum. If and/or when this happens, we can expect to have less oil, every year, for more expense, until it simply runs out — sometime towards the end of the 21st century, roughly.

    What hasn’t received as much attention is that the theory applies to all mineral resources, including COAL.
    Lots of folks have heard that “we have 300 years worth” or therabouts, at “current levels” of consumption. Turns out that was true, maybe, about 50 years ago (they heard it back then, passed the truism on, and never updated the stats). Since we use way more coal than we used to (in the US alone and globally), we are using what’s left at far faster rates. Studies that take updated global rates of use plus re-assessments of how much is actually available indicate it won’t last for anything close to several centuries. It may not outlast oil and gas by much.

    Try the following link for an article by Richard Heinberg about this:

    or try searching “peak oil,” “coal”, and “Richard Heinberg” for starters.

    Reality may wait for rising sea levels or shifting climates. We WILL stop burning oil, gas and coal — one way or another, under our own power as we shift to on our own, or we may just run out.

  15. hglman October 4, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Getting rid of Coal is not the anwser. Increasing efficiency and using less energy is the way to reduce co2. You can build new expensive and less efficient plants that are cleaner, but in the process you use more energy and make more pollution to try to cut it. If you advocate saving energy you can immediately reduce pollution. Steam turbines are the most efficient way we have to create electricity. If you were to translate all the worlds power to wind turbines you would have equally as devastating effects on altering climate by stopping thermal exchange from pole to equator. The only way we can prevent altering our environment is return to the state we found it, i.e. to pre-industrial time. While this idea is obviously impossibly and undesirable reducing energy consumption is the only way to move in that direction.

    Secondly, it is a idea that is business friendly and will be much easier to implement immediately if you really care about reducing co2 emission then this what you should promote foremost, while certainly trying to get coal plants phased out is a great idea you are fighting not just those with the money to make that happen, but the physical reality of our planet. You have to build a new power plant, develop new fuel and energy systems est.
    It save business money to reduce there energy consumption, you can save the environment and with the money save by cutting energy use build you a green power plant.

  16. Davis October 4, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    In the scientific community there is actually a lot of debate about the ability to clean coal right now…

    here’s a great piece on the scientific aspects from the chair of the Engineering school at Caltech…he oughta know.

    (warning, a little technical, but informative and speaks to green concerns…)

    (don’t be freaked out by the Lomborg ad, The Oil Drum took their money and then ran a boatload of negative reviews against the book…pretty genius if you ask me: )

  17. Climate change disaster... October 4, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    […] over at the blog Inhabitat comes a more pro-active voice, and one with which I am indeed sympathetic: Architecture2030 is […]

  18. Bryce October 4, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I’m on board, but what do we replace it with that can generate more energy than coal currently does (energy demand isn’t going to drop anytime soon).

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