Global Coal Usage Reaches 44 Year High

Earlier this week, BP issued its annual "Statistical Review of World Energy" report. According to the report, coal was the fastest-growing fossil fuel worldwide last year, and "coal's share of global primary energy consumption reached 30.1 percent, the highest since 1970". Despite a decrease in coal usage by North America and Europe over the past several years (due in large part to cheaper natural gas), global coal consumption has risen to new highs, driven by the growing and power-hungry markets of China and India. And, as might be expected, worldwide carbon emissions grew again last year, by another 2.1 percent. Despite increasing urgency from the scientific community to reduce carbon emissions to head off climate disaster, and the small but growing use of renewable energy sources, coal appears to be the fuel of choice at the moment, and predictions are that its usage will continue to rise.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Kevin Frayer / Getty

    China Stages a Massive Military Parade to Commemorate the End of World War II

    In Beijing, China marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and its role in defeating Japan, by holding an enormous military parade and declaring a new national holiday. The spectacle involved more than 12,000 troops, 500 pieces of military hardware, and 200 aircraft.

  • Ng Han Guan / AP

    Remembering China’s Forgotten WWII Veterans

    On September 3, China will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II, but the service of many veterans of that conflict has been unrecognized for decades.

  • ChinaFotoPress / Getty

    Selfie Sticks Extend Their Reach

    The use of a stick to hold a camera at a distance for a self-portrait is not a new phenomenon, but the popularity of the new breed of extendable selfie stick has exploded over the past two years.

  • NASA / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 8/22-8/28

    Hikers on a moonlit night in Mexico, a massive ball pit in Washington, D.C., Usain Bolt taken down by a Segway in China, a squirrel monkey riding a capybara in Japan, and much more.

Join the Discussion