World coal consumption is set to rise to the highest level ever this year despite ambitious global goals aimed at weaning nations off burning the dirty fossil fuel.
Coal usage looks likely to increase by 1.2% in 2022, surpassing 8 billion tons in a single year for the first time, according to an International Energy Agency report published Friday. It also said consumption will likely remain at that level until 2025, as declines in advanced economies are offset by demand in emerging Asian markets, such as China and India.
Europe’s heavy reliance on coal this year is largely driven by Russia’s curtailment of gas supplies to the continent, forcing it to draw on other other energy sources. It’s at a time when European leaders are also attempting to shift toward renewables to secure a clean source of power going forward.
The analysis “underlines the urgent need to massively scale up renewable power and energy efficiency so that we cut people’s bills, secure our energy supplies, and keep essential climate targets intact,” Alexandru Mustața, a campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal said. “Importantly, no European country has revised its plans to phase out coal completely by 2030, and Europe is still on track to be coal free by the end of the decade.”