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Energy agency says coal set to reach record-high usage in 2022

Advanced economies see declining demand, but "emerging" markets continue consumption.

Published: December 16, 2022 11:17am

Updated: December 16, 2022 11:28am

Coal use will hit a record high across the world in 2022, a major energy agency is predicting, with emerging markets in Asia driving much of the spike even as demand slackens elsewhere. 

Global coal demand "is set to increase only marginally in 2022," the International Energy Agency said in a press release this week; yet even that small demand will be "enough to push it to an all-time high."

The IEA said it is predicting that "the world’s coal consumption will remain at similar levels in the following years in the absence of stronger efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy."

The total consumption rise in 2022, the IEA said, will constitute about a 1.2% jump, "surpassing 8 billion tonnes in a single year for the first time and eclipsing the previous record set in 2013."

The agency said that "higher natural gas prices amid the global energy crisis have led to increased reliance on coal for generating power," though it noted that "slowing economic growth has at the same time reduced electricity demand and industrial output."

“The world is close to a peak in fossil fuel use, with coal set to be the first to decline, but we are not there yet,” Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s Director of Energy Markets and Security, said in the press release.

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