As I noted in a previous article on the recently-released 2016 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the world set a new all-time high for fossil fuel consumption in 2015. This was driven by new global consumption records for petroleum and natural gas.
However, global coal consumption did decline by 1% in 2015. In fact, 2015 marked the largest year-over-year decline in coal demand since 1965, the first year the BP Review began tracking energy statistics.
How bad was 2015 for the coal industry? Since 1965, annual coal demand has only declined by over 50 million metric tons of oil equivalent (MMtoe) twice. Following the financial crisis of 2008 demand fell by just over 50 MMtoe (in 2009), and then in 2015 demand fell by a record 71.3 MMtoe: