The world is burning the most coal ever to keep the lights on

The world likely will generate more electricity from the dirtiest source this year than ever before, indicating just how far the energy transition still needs to run in the fight against climate change.

Coal-fueled generation is set to jump 9% from last year, according to an International Energy Agency report released Friday.

The U.S. and European Union had the biggest increases in coal use at about 20% each, followed by India at 12% and China—the world’s largest consumer—at 9%, the IEA estimated. The comeback is being driven by economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is outpacing the ability of low-carbon energy sources to maintain supply.

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