IEA: Global coal demand to decline by 2026

The International Energy Agency’s annual coal market report predicts a historic decline in global coal demand by 2.3% by 2026

Big Zero Report 2023

Global coal demand is anticipated to undergo a significant shift in the coming years, according to the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) annual coal market report.

The report projects a decline in global coal consumption by 2.3% by 2026, marking a departure from previous forecasts.

In the current year, global coal demand is poised to reach an unprecedented high, surpassing 8.5 billion tonnes with a 1.4% increase.

However, regional variations are evident, with advanced economies, including the EU and the US, experiencing record drops of around 20%.

According to the report, emerging economies such as India and China exhibit robust demand, driven by increased electricity needs and weakened hydropower output.

Keisuke Sadamori, IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security, said: “We have seen declines in global coal demand a few times, but they were brief and caused by extraordinary events such as the collapse of the Soviet Union or the Covid-19 crisis.

“This time appears different, as the decline is more structural, driven by the formidable and sustained expansion of clean energy technologies.

“A turning point for coal is clearly on the horizon – though the pace at which renewables expand in key Asian economies will dictate what happens next and much greater efforts are needed to meet international climate targets.”

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