Overall coal demand moved up slightly in 2018, by 0.7%, as higher use in India and China offset declines in Europe and the U.S., according to the IEA data on coal.

Expand chart
Data: IEA; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: The persistence of CO2-intensive, coal-fired power generation in the wider global energy mix is one reason why worldwide emissions are so difficult to bring under control.

Where it stands: Coal's share of the expanding overall global energy pie is declining as renewables, gas, oil and nuclear grow more quickly.

But, but, but: Carbon emissions from coal-fired plants are nonetheless growing in absolute terms as the chart above shows, and coal remains the largest source of worldwide electricity production, IEA said.

  • "Coal-fired power generation continues to be the single largest emitter, accounting for 30% of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions," the report states.
  • Coal-fired power was also the single biggest source of last year's global emissions growth.

IEA points out that a big chunk of that coal-fired generation comes from fairly young plants in Asia, where "average plants are only 12 years old, decades younger than their average economic lifetime of around 40 years."

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.