Global coal consumption increased in 2023, despite warnings of climate crisis

Global coal consumption increased in 2023, despite warnings of climate crisis

El Economista – Mexico City

Coal consumption in the world reached a record in 2023, after 8.53 billion tons of this fossil fuel were burned, The International Energy Agency indicated this FridayIEA, two days after the closing of COP28.

Despite countries participating in the UN climate conference in Dubai committed to a progressive abandonment of fossil energies, this year the record that had already been registered in 2022 was broken, according to the IEA report.

These figures coincide with a year 2023 that “almost certainly“It will surpass 2016 as the warmest, according to the European observatory Copernicus in early November. The combustion of coal, both to produce energy and to run industry, is responsible for a large part of carbon dioxide, CO2, emissions.

The IEA highlights the upward trend in consumption in China, where it increased by 220 million tons (4.9%) compared to last year, and in India, with an increase of 98 million (8%). An additional 23 million tons were also burned in Indonesia, representing an increase of 11%, according to the report.

On the other hand, its use decreased significantly in Europe, with 107 million tons less (-23%), and in the United States, with a reduction of 95 million tons (-21%). The closure of coal plants and the lower weight of the industry favored this trend in both places.

In Germany, for example, most power plants should close over the next three years and be replaced by wind or solar plants. France wants to close its last coal-fired power plant “in 2027.” The IEA recognizes the difficulty of making accurate forecasts about Russia, the world’s fourth largest consumer of coal, due to the war in Ukraine.

A “peak” in 2023

The 2023 levels will represent “a peak” in coal consumption, which will decrease “from 2024”, according to this international agency, founded in 1974 within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD.

The IEA expects an increase in renewable energies (wind, solar…) across the planet to “bring global coal consumption onto a downward trajectory.” Despite this, a reduction in its use in the industry is not expected.

In countries, such as Indonesia, paradoxical situations occur, such as an increase in coal consumption due to the boom in the extraction of nickel to make batteries for electric cars. However, China continues to be by far the country that uses coal the most, with 54% of global consumption.

The agency expects consumption to decrease in the Asian giant over the next two years and that India will become the new “engine” in the combustion of this energy from 2026.

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