Global coal demand has stalled after more than a decade of “aggressive” growth.
That’s according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) which predicts global demand for coal will be slashed by more than 500 million tonnes by 2020.
This is due to the economic restructuring in China as it represents half of coal consumption and a greater support for renewables and energy efficiency.
The report added coal demand outside the east Asian country will “modestly” increase by 2020.
Southeast Asia is the region with the highest growth rate in coal use, IEA stated.
Prices of imported coal in Europe have fallen below $50 (£33)/tonne – levels not seen in a decade, it added.
They will remain “under pressure” by 2020.
Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “The coal industry is facing huge pressures and the main reason is China – but it is not the only reason. The economic transformation in China and environmental policies worldwide – including the recent climate agreement in Paris – will likely continue to constrain global coal demand.”