How many countries agreed to stop using coal?

Grade level: 4th – 5th grades

Skills: Fraction & Percentage

Related environmental issues: Energy & Climate Change

The annual climate conference* took place in Bonn, Germany, during November 6 and 17 to talk about how to stop ongoing climate change. Using coal for electricity generation is considered one of the main causes of climate change.


Photo) Coal-fired plants burn coal to generate electricity

During the conference, 15 countries**  joined an anti-coal team and announced that they would stop using coal.   Those countries try to increase the number of team countries to 50 countries by the next 2018 conference.

  1. Which fraction shows the ratio of the current team countries and the targeted team countries.

A. 3/5

B. 1/2

C. 3/10

D. 5/15

2. Turn the fraction into percentage.

Sources: Independent (November 16, 2017), COP23: At least 15 countries join anti-coal alliance in defiant message to Trump

Photo: Ecology Global Network

* COP 23

**Current anti-coal team members include Canada, the UK, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, and Mexico


Answer keys

1. C  (15/50 = 3/10)

2. 30%


Has the coal production increased or decreased in the largest coal producing states?

Grade level:  3rd – 5th grades

Skills: Subtraction (3-digits)

Related environmental issues: Energy & Climate Change

President Trump visited China this week. China depended mostly on coal for their energy resources, but the use of coal has been declining these days because the coal use causes both health and environmental problems.  Declining of coal production has also been seen in the United States. The table below compares the amount of coal produced between 2014 and 2015 in the top 5 coal-producing states.


Table: The amount of coal produced in the top 5 coal-producing states (2014 and 2015)

(Unit: Thousand short tons)

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 2.00.28 PM

  1. Among the five states, which state reduced their coal production the most?
  2. Among the five states, which state reduced their coal production the least?
  3. Between 2014 and 2015, altogether how much did coal production decrease in five states?

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017. Annual Coal Production by State


Answer keys

  1. Wyoming
  2. Illinois
  3. 20 + 16 + 16 + 2 + 11 = 65 (thousand short tons)