According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), demand for coal remains at record levels this year. At the same time, extreme weather conditions prove the earth is warming up faster than ever due to C02 emissions.
“Climate change is here, it’s terrifying, and this is just the beginning,” said United Nations top man António Guterres recently during a meeting in New York. “This is a terrible summer for large parts of North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe,” he said. “And for the planet as a whole, it’s a disaster.” He also referred to the month of July, which will probably be the hottest on record.
Declining in Europe and US
Demand for coal in Asia, especially in China, is high. It is mainly used for industrial purposes and to generate electricity. In Europe and the United States, on the other hand, demand is declining.
China, India, and Southeast Asia are expected to account for three-quarters of all coal used this year. However, a sharp drop is expected in Europe as renewable energy is increasingly used. There only was a small resurgence as coal-fired power stations were turned on again due to the gas crisis after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Coal consumption is also falling in the US due to lower prices for natural gas.
‘We need more policies…’
“Coal is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the energy sector,” says IEA Director of Energy Markets Keisuke Sadamori. “In Europe and the US, the growth of clean energy has pushed coal use into a structural downturn. But demand for coal remains extremely high in Asia. We need more policies and investments to deliver massive increases in clean energy and energy efficiency to lower coal demand.”
Greenhouse gases absorb heat radiation, and high concentrations of polluting elements in the air lead to a higher temperature. Unfortunately, we can see the direct consequences this summer in many places worldwide. Greece, but also Sicily and Corsica are ravaged by forest fires. Other parts of the world suffer from flooding and mudflows.