PARIS: Global coal consumption hit a record last year and is set to stay near those levels in 2023, the International Energy Agency said Thursday.

The burning of coal, which is used to produce electricity and in industry, is responsible for a large part of the carbon emissions that cause global warming.

The data came as UN and EU monitors said that July is set to be the hottest month in recorded history and likely “unprecedented” for thousands of years.

The IEA said in an update on the coal market that consumption rose by 3.3 percent last year to 8.3 billion tonnes.

Coal consumption “will stay near that record level this year as strong growth in Asia for both power generation and industrial applications outpaces declines in the United States and Europe,” it said in its report.

China, India and Southeast Asia will consume about three-quarters of the global total this year.

The IEA estimated that demand for coal has fallen by 16 percent in Europe and by 24 percent in the United States since the start of the year thanks to falling natural gas prices.

But in China and India, the top two coal consuming nations, demand rose by more than five percent.


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