In 2010, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal accounted for just one-fifth of primary energy supply in the OECD countries. But worldwide, coal accounted for almost half of the increase in energy use from 2000-10. Coal, says Edward Cunningham of Boston University, may even overtake oil as a fuel by 2025.
Asia has been responsible for over two-thirds of the growth in global energy demand over the past two decades. As, above all, China and India race towards prosperity, they will burn coal in huge volumes. The resulting emissions of carbon dioxide will be among the biggest hurdles in the way of a global agreement on limiting climate change.
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