TOP STORIES

Global coal use to reach record high in 2023, energy agency says

An excavator sifts through dunes of low-grade coal near a coal mine in Pingdingshan, Henan province, China [File: Aly Song/Reuters]

Global coal use is expected to reach a record high in 2023 as demand in emerging and developing economies remains strong, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.

The demand for coal is seen rising 1.4 percent in 2023, surpassing 8.5 billion tonnes for the first time as usage in India is expected to grow 8 percent and that in China up 5 percent due to rising electricity demand and weak hydropower output, IEA said in a report released on Friday.

Coal is the largest energy-related source of the CO2 emissions responsible along with other greenhouse gases for global warming.

Half of the world’s coal use comes from China, the agency said, so the outlook for coal will be significantly affected in the coming years by the pace of clean energy deployment, weather conditions, and structural shifts in the Chinese economy.

Coal use is set to drop by about 20 percent this year in both the European Union and the United States, the report said.

The agency said it was difficult to forecast demand in Russia, currently the fourth-largest coal consumer, because of the continuing conflict in Ukraine.

But the IEA noted that overall coal use is not expected to drop until 2026, when the major expansion of renewable capacity in the next three years should help lower usage by 2.3 percent compared with 2023 levels, even with the absence of stronger clean energy policies.

Global consumption is forecast to remain well over 8 billion tonnes in 2026, the report said. To reach goals set by the Paris climate agreement – reached in 2015 by governments who agreed to phase out fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy in the second half of the century – the use of unabated coal would need to fall significantly faster, it added.

At the United Nations COP28 climate talks in Dubai this week, world leaders agreed to a deal that would, for the first time, push nations to transition away from fossil fuels to avert the worst effects of climate change.

However, the agreement did not go so far as to seek a “phase-out” of fossil fuels, for which more than 100 nations had pleaded. Rather, it called for “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade”.

“The absence of explicit ‘phase-out’ language in the draft is significant, as it is a more measurable and definitive term, sending a strong message globally about a total shift away from fossil fuels,” Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International, told Al Jazeera.

“The current terminology – ‘transitioning away’ – is somewhat ambiguous and allows for varying interpretations.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

International News

UNICEF and KOICA’s $39 Million Project to Build Climate Resilience for Children

BALI, INDONESIA, 21 May 2024 – UNICEF and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have announced a groundbreaking US$39 million partnership to deliver climate-smart social services to vulnerable children in East Asia Pacific and Eastern and Southern Africa. Over the next three years, this collaboration will enhance the resilience of critical services like schools, healthcare, […]

Read More
International News

Observers declare Russian polls free, fair

THE Zimbabwe Election Observer Mission to the 2024 Presidential Elections of the Russian Federation has declared the election free, fair and credible. The delegation was led by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba. The observer mission commended the people of the Russian Federation for exercising their right to vote in a peaceful environment.  The […]

Read More
People inspect damage caused by an Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip [Said Khatib/AFP]
International News

South Africa urges ICJ to consider action on Israel’s planned Rafah assault

World Court asked to order additional emergency measures ahead of an assault on Gaza city crammed with displaced people. South Africa says it has asked the World Court to consider whether Israel’s plan to extend its offensive in the Gaza Strip into the densely populated southern city of Rafah requires additional emergency measures to protect […]

Read More