Global Coal Consumption Heads for Biggest Decline in History

Bloomberg, 9th November 2015, Ewa Krukowska

Coal consumption is poised for its biggest decline in history, driven by China’s battle against pollution, economic reforms and its efforts to promote renewable energy.

Global use of the most polluting fuel fell 2.3 percent to 4.6 percent in the first nine months of 2015 from the same period last year, according to a report released Monday by the environmental group Greenpeace. That’s a decline of as much as 180 million tons of standard coal, 40 million tons more than Japan used in the same period.

 The report confirms that worldwide efforts to fight global warming are having a significant impact on the coal industry, the biggest source of carbon emissions. It comes a day before the International Energy Agency is scheduled to release its annual forecast detailing the ways the planet generates and uses electricity.

“These trends show that the so-called global coal boom in the first decade of the 21st century was a mirage,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, Greenpeace’s coal and energy campaigner.

The decline in coal use will help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that are blamed for heating up the planet. To limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) — the level scientists say cannot be exceeded if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change — emissions from coal must fall 4 percent annually through 2040, according to Greenpeace.

 

Read the full Bloomberg article here

Read the full Greenpeace report here