Coal will continue to stay high on the agenda for the next five years despite much of Europe and North America phasing out the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.
The International Energy Agency predicted demand will remain steady at least until 2023, due to strong growth in India and Southeast Asia.
More stringent air quality and climate change policies, alongside the declining cost of renewable energy sources and abundant supplies of gas have all made coal an increasingly less attractive option.
But despite these trends, after demand for coal increased in 2018 its contribution to the energy mix will only drop slightly by around 2 per cent to 25 per cent in 2023.
“Despite significant media attention being given to divestments and moves away from coal, market trends are proving resistant to change,” the report said.
Many European countries have already set imminent deadlines for the phase-out of coal (by 2025 in the UK), as it contributes disproportionately to carbon emissions from the energy system.
However, coal is still seen as an appealing prospect for nations including Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Pakistan.
India meanwhile is expected to see an increase in coal demand of 4 per cent each year.
“The story of coal is a tale of two worlds with climate action policies and economic forces leading to closing coal power plants in some countries, while coal continues to play a part in securing access to affordable energy in others,” said Keisuke Sadamori, director of energy markets and security at the IEA.