Dec 18, 2018

The disconnect over climate and coal

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Expand chart
International Energy Agency, Coal 2018 report; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Global demand for coal, the most carbon-emitting fuel, is slated to grow slightly over the next 5 years, according to a new International Energy Agency forecast.

Why it matters: The latest projection of coal's persistence in the global energy mix arrives on the heels of major scientific reports warning that worldwide emissions must start plummeting — and soon — to avoid potentially disastrous warming.

  • "Despite significant media attention being given to divestments and moves away from coal, market trends are proving resistant to change," IEA said.
  • However, the agency's latest 5-year lookahead report trims its demand growth forecast slightly compared to last year's analysis.

The big picture: Surging demand in India and elsewhere in southeast Asia — including Indonesia and Vietnam — is driving the uptick.

  • It's cancelling out substantial declines in Europe and the U.S., which continues to move away from coal despite White House efforts to revive its fortunes.

Where it stands: Keisuke Sadamori, IEA's director of energy markets and security, said in a statement:

  • “The story of coal is a tale of two worlds with climate action policies and economic forces leading to closing coal power plants in some countries, while coal continues to play a part in securing access to affordable energy in others.”

Buzz: IEA is using the forecast to make the case for stronger global efforts to deploy Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) technologies in the power sector.

"While 2018 brought some good news in terms of policies and projects, our progress with deploying CCUS remains woefully off-track with what is required for a sustainable energy future."

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: "Widespread looting" occurred in Manhattan, including at "Macy's flagship store in Herald Square and luxury stores along Fifth Avenue" as the 11 p.m. curfew began Monday, per the New York Times.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

St. John's clergy: Trump used church as prop, Bible as symbol of division

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.

The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.