Coal 2023

Analysis and forecast to 2026

Photo Showing Portal Cranes Over Huge Heaps Of Coal In The Murmansk Commercial Seaport Russia Shutterstock 1978777190

About this report

The global coal market has experienced a turbulent three years. Demand dropped sharply during the Covid pandemic, only to leap during the post-Covid rebound and following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2022, global coal demand reached its highest level ever. Today, coal remains the largest energy source for electricity generation, steelmaking and cement production – maintaining a central role in the world economy. At the same time, coal is the largest source of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and curbing consumption is essential to meeting international climate targets.

A historic turning point could arrive soon. The International Energy Agency’s latest projections see coal demand peaking within this decade under today’s policy settings, primarily as a result of the structural decline in coal use in developed economies and a weaker economic outlook for China, which has also pledged to reach a peak in CO2 emissions before 2030. However, key questions remain, including when the peak in demand will occur, at what level, and how fast consumption will decline after that point.

Since its first publication in 2011, the IEA’s annual Coal Report has served as the global benchmark for the medium-term forecast of coal supply, demand and trade. Its analysis also covers costs, prices and mining projects at regional and country level by coal grade. Given coal’s impact on energy supply and CO2 emissions, Coal 2023 is indispensable reading for those following energy and climate issues.