Total World Demand for Coal Doubled Since 1980In the fight against global warming and climate destabilization, coal is enemy #1. Not only does it produce more CO2 per unit of energy than other mainstream energy sources, but it's also a big offender when it comes to smog and mercury pollution.
Unfortunately, the slow coal growth in many parts of the world is more than offset by the explosion in demand in Asia, and especially China. As you can see in the animations created by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China has to be part of any solution to global warming, and they'll probably even have to make bigger changes than others since so much of their power comes from coal.
Global coal demand has almost doubled since 1980, driven by increases in Asia, where demand is up over 400% from 1980-2010. In turn, Asian demand is dominated by China; demand in China increased almost five-fold between 1980-2010 and accounted for 73% of Asia's consumption and almost half of coal consumption globally in 2010.