The top 10 coal-burning countries

We all know it : coal is by far the most greenhouse gases emitting energy source. It is also a major air pollutant. For these two reasons it is the environmental enemy #1. (cf The Economist’s cover, back to 2002)

However, many countries like China, India, Germany or the United States are still relying importantly on this solution to generate their electricity, and some of them to astronomic proportions.

TreeHugger recently published a list of the ten countries that burn coal the most according to the data provided by the US Department of Energy (DoE).

Here are they :

  • China with 2,829,515 thousand short tons ;
  • The United States of America lags behind with “only”1,121,714 thousand short tons ;
  • The third country, India, burned 637,522 thousand short tons ;
  • Germany, touted as a “green” country comes fourth with 269,892 thousand short tons ;
  • Russia, 269,684 thousand short tons ;
  • Japan with 203,979 thousand short tons ;
  • # 7 South Africa with 193,654 thousand short tons ;
  • # 8 Australia with 160,515 thousand short tons ;
  • # 9 Poland with 149,333 thousand short tons ;
  • Last but not least South Korea with 112,843 thousand short tons.

(For those who – like me – aren’t familiar with short tons : one short ton is equal to 907 kilograms.)


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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2 Responses

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