Dec 18, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coal's near-term rebound is coming

Data: IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global coal demand is slated to rise by 2.6% next year after 2020's steep pandemic-fueled decline, the International Energy Agency said in a report Friday.

Why it matters: Coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel, so its trajectory means a lot for global efforts to fight global warming.

The big picture: The analysis sees demand flattening out through the mid-2020s after next year's bump, which means that 2013 was likely the global peak.

  • However, IEA notes that coal is not on track for the kind of decline that would consistent with steep global emissions cuts, thanks largely to persistent demand in Asia.
  • "The trends outlined in the report pose a major challenge to efforts to put those emissions on a path compatible with reaching climate and sustainable energy goals," IEA said in a summary.
Go deeper