Our addiction to fossil fuels shows no sign of waning. An International Energy Agency report predicts that global coal use will continue to grow over the next five years.
Demand for coal will increase everywhere except the US, where cheap gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing or fracking will exceed it. By 2017, coal use will equal that of oil, currently our biggest energy source.
This is terrible news for the climate. Coal produces more greenhouse gas per unit of energy than any other fossil fuel. Yet even developed countries like Germany, scaling back on nuclear power after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan, in 2011, are building more coal-fired power stations.