New IEA report predicts surge in global coal use

A new report released last week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that primary world energy demand will grow 45% by 2030 with global demand for coal increasing more than any other fuel source. IEA’s latest World Energy Outlook predicts that coal will be mined to meet more than a third of the predicted increase in global energy demand. The report concludes that China and India will account for more than half of the projected increase in global energy demand. As energy use in these two nations soar, IEA predicts that global emissions of greenhouse gasses will jump 45% by 2030, with China, India and the Middle East accounting for approximately 75% of that projected growth. The report forecasts that 97% of the projected increase in greenhouse gas emissions will be come from developing countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). To combat the projected increase in greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature increases to 3oC, IEA said at least $4.1 trillion in additional investments in new energy technologies is necessary. However, IEA said that figure could balloon to $9.3 trillion if the global temperature increase is to be limited to 2oC.

To achieve this target, greenhouse gas concentrations would need to be limited to 450 ppm of carbon dioxide. The report highlighted the development and use of carbon capture and storage technologies as one of the primary options needed to effectively address climate change. To tackle climate change, the report emphasises the need for action by all major emitters of greenhouse gasses. “Our analysis shows that OECD countries alone cannot put the world onto a 450 ppm trajectory, even if they were to reduce their emissions to zero,” said IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka.