The top 20 Coal-burning countries in the world

No country escapes Climate change. The world’s three biggest consumers of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, are preparing to increase use so much that it will almost be as if the pandemic-induced drop in emissions never happened.

That transition appears to be starting to have an impact on the global energy mix, as coal generation fell a record 4% (-346 terawatt-hours (TWh)) in 2020, according to climate think tank Ember’s Global Electricity Review.

As the most carbon-intensive source of electricity, coal power must fall by 14% each year during this decade to put the world on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.

We were curious about which countries burned the most, so we compiled a list of the top 20 coal-burning countries in the world based on the latest statistics from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

#CountryYearly Coal Consumption
Cubic Feet
Per Capita
1China4,319,921,826,00050.5 %3,055.00
2India966,288,692,60011.3 %729.54
3United States731,071,000,0008.5 %2,263.27
4Germany257,488,592,9003.0 %3,132.70
5Russia230,392,143,1002.7 %1,585.90
6Japan210,559,949,3002.5 %1,648.05
7South Africa202,298,474,2002.4 %3,599.13
8South Korea157,124,158,5001.8 %3,081.87
9Poland148,799,901,4001.7 %3,916.90
10Australia129,642,679,1001.5 %5,343.29
11Turkey116,877,929,3001.4 %1,464.12
12Indonesia102,623,737,1001.2 %392.36
13Kazakhstan86,633,849,8301.0 %4,858.64
14Taiwan72,649,581,4100.8 %3,076.00
15Ukraine59,357,188,8800.7 %1,327.49
16Vietnam56,641,097,0400.7 %604.88
17Czech Republic (Czechia)49,418,771,7200.6 %4,653.87
18Serbia43,189,608,1100.5 %4,878.00
19Canada42,907,416,7500.5 %1,179.33
20Thailand42,674,985,8700.5 %618.74


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