Who's Burning Coal Now?
In the past 30 years, world coal consumption has changed dramatically but not evenly. North America burns modestly more, although U.S. use is now dropping rapidly. Europe and Russia burn far less these days. Asia, however, has nearly quintupled its coal burning--partly, it should be noted, in the service of producing consumer goods for the rest of the world. Even these figures may be optimistic: A study in Nature Climate Change says that China seems to underestimate its coal usage by as much as 20 percent, or as much as is burned annually by highly industrialized Japan. (Click graphic to enlarge.)