Bulldozer drives over hard coal in the coal port next to the Mehrum power plant in the Peine district
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance / dpa
According to estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the climate-damaging consumption of coal will reach a new high worldwide this year.
According to a report published by the agency on Friday, total consumption will increase by 1.2 percent compared to the previous year to more than eight billion tons, mainly due to increased demand in Europe.
The IEA warned that consumption will remain at this level until around 2025 if there are no further efforts to advance the energy transition.
The consumption of coal is the main source of emissions of climate-damaging CO2.
Even if demand in the industrialized countries is falling, there is still massive demand in Asia, according to the agency.
"The world is nearing the peak of fossil fuel consumption, but we're not there yet," said Keisuke Sadamori of the IEA.
This year, Europe in particular will need a lot of coal to produce electricity.
It is the second year in a row that coal consumption has increased in Europe.
However, the crisis is also promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency, such as the use of heat pumps.
In China, which accounts for 53 percent of global coal consumption, consumption was slowed this year due to the corona crisis.
On the other hand, heat waves and drought increased consumption because electricity was needed for air conditioning and there was less hydroelectric power.
The three largest coal producers China, India and Indonesia have all three exceeded their previous production records.
However, the IEA report also points out that no major investments are currently being made in coal export projects.
»This shows that investors are cautious about the medium and long-term prospects for coal.«