The exploitation of coal-mine methane is analysed to reduce the environmental impact from coal power systems. The analyses are based on a life cycle assessment, and the results were compared with carbon-capture and storage technologies. The results suggest that by increasing the use of coalmine methane, the environmental impacts of coal power plants could be clearly reduced. Although the CO2 reduction is much less than through sequestration of CO2, increased use of coal-mine methane in Poland could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 9 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which corresponds to about 2.5% of the emissions of Poland. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.