The use of coal plants to provide energy has been at the center of the growth of many economies of the world. In the US alone, coal powers 25% of all electricity used domestically and industrially (Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, 2022). On the other hand, studies associate coal with the emission of greenhouse gasses, which is a threat to global climate and temperatures. As far as mitigation of climate is concerned, the continued use of coal is counterproductive. Most recently, several countries of the world have committed to abandoning the use of coal to provide electricity for their economies (Malpass & Birol, 2022). Such measures, along with the contribution of coal to climate change, mean that the future of coal as a source of electricity is doubtful. Investing in coal power plants or continued use of the energy source may therefore be detrimental to an organization’s reputation.
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The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) code of ethics for engineers requires that engineers performing their duties should ensure the health, safety and wellness of the community. Coal power plants do the opposite by causing pollution and endangering life. Working in these plants would therefore violate the ethical codes that govern engineering practice while also endangering life. Secondly, green energy continues to gain appeal among the general public in place of energy sources such as coal. In line with the aforementioned code of ethics, engineers involved in energy production are likely to align themselves with clean, healthy and safer forms of energy plants. It is highly likely that this would mean little or no development in coal power plants in favor of plants that produce cleaner energy.
Malpass, D. & Birol, F. (2021). It’s critical to tackle coal emissions.
National Society of Professional Engineers. (2022). NSPE code of ethics for engineers.
Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. (2022). Coal’s importance to the world.