by Vir Kamath


Coal is a combustible black sedimentary rock with high level of carbon and hydrocarbons and is therefore considered to be a fossil fuel. Coal is one of the most popularly used natural resources and has been the key to many countries economic success such as the U.S.A’s and Russia’s. While it has helped countries succeed it has also destroyed the environment and polluted the atmosphere which is causing global warming and climate change. The top 5 producers of Coal are China, Australia, U.S.A, India and Indonesia. 

There are two processes of mining coal, the first one is to dig underground and the second is to remove sand from the top and then dig a vertical hole. I think the one to directly dig underground is more effective and easier for the workers and it is a safer method than the removing sand. This process occurs in most asian nations such as India and China. The removing the top method exists in Australia and the Amazon in South America. This method is more unsafe and it has more harmful effects to the environment such as cutting down trees etc.

The workers are affected because they don’t have proper gear and equipment and it’s also because they are vulnerable to accidents. There have been many mine accidents around the world such as the Chile mine disaster in 2016. 

The environment is littered and destroyed when we dig over the location of the mine. 

This resource is used to power electricity stations and supply cities with electricity. It is also used for many other sources of power.  This resource is also burned in fossil fuels to produce energy and electricity. The end product affects the environment by releasing carbon dioxide and other GHG’g into the atmosphere and therefore causing global warming and climate change.

The production is affecting the people globally.  The production of coal affects people globally because when we burn it in the power plants and fossil fuels we emit and when that happens it will cause global warming and climate change which are both global issues we are fighting against.

It pollutes the air and causes soil erosion. It does not only affect the environment but us humans as well. Several deaths are caused worldwide due to coal mining accidents especially in South America. It emits harmful gasses into the air, the air we breathe. 

Coal is used globally all over the world by every single country. It is vital for the country’s success and developed countries like the U.S.A and even China are dependant on coal so you can imagine the global usage of coal. It is at an all time high and the numbers are rising in every country with every passing year. 

It is traded globally and leaves a significant impact on the economies of different countries. If countries permanently stopped trading coal countries would experience huge economic losses and difficulties. This would force countries to produce their own coal and if that is not possible, they will have to switch to other resources. 

There are many substitutes and alternatives to coal. Instead of using coal, we can use renewable energy sources such as biofuels. Some biofuels that would serve as the best alternatives are ethanol and biodiesel. These alternatives are better because they cause less harm to the environment and they don’t pollute the environment because they are 100 % natural. This way the developed countries reduce the use of coal and increase the use of renewable natural resources and will want developing countries to do the same in order to reduce pollution. 

Coal is possible to reduce based on the country’s government’s decisions and their political will. It cannot be recycled or reused as it is a non renewable resource. Coal is a non renewable resource because it takes millions of years to form. 


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Unwin, Jack. “Who Are the Top Five Coal Producing Countries in the World?” Power Technology | Energy News and Market Analysis, 19 Aug. 2019,

“What Is Coal?” World Coal Association, 9 Jan. 2018,

Kopp, Otto C. “Coal.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,

National Geographic Society. “Coal.” National Geographic Society, 18 Dec. 2012,

LeBlanc, Rick. “What Is the Environmental Impact of Coal?” The Balance Small Business, The Balance Small Business, 25 June 2019,

Vir Kamath is a 10th grader who enjoys sports, movies and current affairs. He is particularly passionate about global politics as a whole but loves to make do with Indian politics as well. He believes in honesty and friendship are his guiding principles to be a better human being. He also believes that the Ascent can make him a better and more diverse person by expressing himself through writing!