London, 16 December-Today the IEA released their Coal 2022 report, highlighting the incredibly complex global challenge of the transition from coal to clean energy.

The report comes only one week after the IEA highlighted that solar power is set to overtake coal power globally by 2027. This report shows coal use rose this year, though it was kept in check by strong deployment of renewables. Moving forwards, most of the growth will come from renewables and so the world is close to a peak in fossil fuel use, with coal set to be the first to decline. But we are not there yet.

In a year of a global energy crisis, exorbitant coal and gas prices have pushed up energy bills around the world and exacerbated food shortages and caused economic pain for billions of people around the world.

In response to the report’s release, experts from E3G, Ember and Transition Zero have shared their reactions:

Pieter de Pous, Programme Leader at E3G said:

“The lesson from coal in 2022 is twofold: an overreliance on gas as a bridge fuel and underinvestment in renewables in the past is making it harder to quit coal. At the same time, governments have responded to the energy crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, by hitting the clean energy accelerator, leading to king coal set to be replaced by king solar in 2027. This holds especially true for Europe which has been forced to temporarily switch coal back online, but increased efforts, such as its RePowerEU plans, now have the potential to compensate for this.”

Dave Jones, Head of Data Insights at Ember, said:

“This report shows renewables will stop any further big rises in coal power generation in the coming years. This is a key tipping point: renewables are working for the climate. And with coal prices still at record highs, this means renewables are working for the bill-payer as well.”

Seb Kennedy, Head of Data Insights at TransitionZero, said:

“The extraordinary events of 2022 have highlighted the volatility and energy insecurity issues associated with fossil fuel energy sources. While some countries have fallen back on coal during the energy crisis, this is only a short-term fix, and demand in advanced economies is expected to drop in the coming years. China – by far the world’s biggest consumer of coal – is facing myriad challenges arising from its dependence on this fuel. These include air pollution-related health impacts, financial losses for power generators and heightened water use stress during hydropower-crippling droughts. As the report notes, coal power is increasingly being displaced by renewables – the costs of which have declined 99% in the last ten years, our analysis shows. Despite a small post-Covid inflationary blip, wind and solar combined with energy storage still offer an excellent hedge against coal and gas volatility, while also aligning with international climate and energy targets, and improving energy security and affordability.”

Alexandru Mustață, coal campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal said:

“The IEA’s analysis underlines the urgent need to massively scale up renewable power and energy efficiency so that we cut people’s bills, secure our energy supplies, and keep essential climate targets intact. Importantly, no European country has revised its plans to phase out coal completely by 2030, and Europe is still on track to be coal free by the end of the decade. Now is the time for governments to ambitiously invest in green solutions so that we don’t risk falling back on fossil fuels that make us sicker, poorer, and less secure.”

Camilla Fenning, Programme Leader, E3G said:

“The robust demand for coal in developing Asian economies noted in the report ensures that coal remains by far the largest source of global carbon emissions. We must tackle this urgently in order to have any chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees. One positive note is the recent progress in Indonesia and Viet Nam’s Just Energy Transition Partnerships which demonstrate domestic ambition, backed by international financial support, to accelerate coal phase out including avoiding the construction of new coal power plants. But these JETP political declarations need to move swiftly to implementation, unlocking the transformational public and private financing required to pivot towards a clean energy system.”

Andri Prasetiyo, Research and Senior Program Manager, Trend Asia said:

“Even though in recent times the coal energy landscape has seemed to be in a glorious phase and has reaped many “windfall” profits, this condition should not make the government complacent. It should be realized that this condition has the potential to be the last good times and a farewell turning point. The peak period of coal use is projected to be getting closer. It accelerates by several driving factors such as climate commitment strengthens, coal price volatility, geopolitics, global supply chain crisis, and the affordability of renewable energy, which will decrease the demand for coal in the future drastically, especially for developed countries.”

“Emerging and developing economies in Asia, such as China, India, and Indonesia, which to this date still insist to increase coal production to drive their economies, should start changing their orientation. The coal production rate should be reduced significantly in the energy transition phase as a strategic policy that will contribute to achieving global climate targets and open more opportunities for renewable energy development in the electricity generation systems.”

Interview contacts for follow up on the following page:

1) Pieter de Pous Program Leader, E3G [email protected]

About E3G

E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action.

2) Dave Jones, Head of Data Insights, Ember [email protected]

About Ember

Ember is an independent, not-for-profit climate and energy think tank that produces cutting-edge research and high-impact, politically viable policies that aim to accelerate the global transition from coal to clean electricity.

3) Seb Kennedy, Head of Data Insights, Transition Zero Contact TransitionZero press team:[email protected]

About Transition Zero

TransitionZero is a not-for-profit set up in 2020 to decarbonise energy systems by supporting global businesses and emerging market governments with open, granular, and accessible data. For more information on how your organisation or initiative can access our data and analytics, visit our website or contact us.

4) Alexandru Mustață, Coal Campaigner, Europe Beyond Coal, [email protected]

About Europe Beyond Coal

Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to ensure a just transition to a fossil-free, fully renewables-based European energy sector. This means exiting coal entirely by 2030 at the latest, and fossil gas by 2035 in the power sector. We devote our time and resources to this independent campaign because we are committed to seeing a European energy system that protects people, nature and our global climate:

5) Andri Prasetiyo, Researcher, Trend Asia, [email protected]

About TrendAsia

Trend Asia is an independent civil society organization that acts as an accelerator of energy transformation and sustainable development in Asia.


Photo: Melvinas Priananda/Bersihkan Indonesia