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Global coal demand flat-lines, with falls in China and OECD offset by gains in India and other emerging Asian countries


Growth in coal consumption slows sharply relative to the past, although this masks contrasting patterns across countries and regions.

Coal demand by region
Gas demand and production, 2017-2040
Change in coal demand by region
Change in coal demand by region

In the ET scenario, global coal consumption broadly stagnates around current levels, in sharp contrast to the past 20 years or so when coal was the largest source of energy growth.


The global market for coal continues to be dominated by China, where coal consumption falls for much of the Outlook as the economy adjusts to a more balanced, sustainable pattern of growth. The weakness in global coal consumption is compounded by significant falls in the OECD, as countries switch to cleaner, lower-carbon fuels.


In contrast, coal demand within India and other emerging Asian economies increases. India is the largest growth market for coal, with its share of global coal consumption more than doubling to around a quarter in 2040.


The majority of the increase in coal consumption in India and other developing Asian countries is used to meet robust growth in power demand as these economies grow and prosperity increases. The potential trade-off between the growth of power demand and the ability to decarbonize the power sector is discussed here.