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Global coal consumption reaches all-time high in 2022

Asia continued to drive coal demand growth.

Coal consumption globally increased by 3.3% in 2022 to reach 8.3 billion tonnes, reaching an all-time high mainly driven by the strong growth in Asia, according to the International Energy Association.

In the European Union (EU), coal demand growth was minimal during the period with only a temporary spike in coal-fired power generation which was offset by lower industry use.

This year, coal demand fell faster in the US and the EU, declining by 24% and 16%, respectively, in the first half. 

On the other hand, this decline was offset largely by the two largest consumers, China and India which rose by over 5% during the period.

 “Coal is the largest single source of carbon emissions from the energy sector, and in Europe and the United States, the growth of clean energy has put coal use into structural decline,” said IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security Keisuke Sadamori. 

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“But demand remains stubbornly high in Asia, even as many of those economies have significantly ramped up renewable energy sources, he added.

China and India comprised two-thirds of the global consumption in 2021. This year, their combined share will reach almost 70%, whilst the US and the EU will be less than 10%, down from over 35% at the start of the century.

“We need greater policy efforts and investments – backed by stronger international cooperation – to drive a massive surge in clean energy and energy efficiency to reduce coal demand in economies where energy needs are growing fast,” Sadamori said.

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