As the rest of the world moves away from using coal as an energy source due to its high emission of greenhouse gas, in China the use of coal, the country's main energy source, is predicted to reach 4.8 billion metric tons per year by 2020, up from 3.5 billion tons in 2012.
The prediction was made by China National Coal Association Vice President Liang Jiakun, who stated that the country's coal industry still has potential to grow, as it now accounts for more than 60 percent of the country's primary energy resources.
According to the International Energy Agency, China is the world's second largest oil consumer behind the United States, and the largest global energy consumer. Driving China's relentless use of energy are demographic and economic considerations. China is the world's most populous country and has a rapidly growing economy, which has driven the country's high overall energy demand and the quest for securing energy resources. The International Monetary Fund estimates that China's real gross domestic product grew at an estimated 9.2 percent in 2011 and 7.8 percent in the first half of 2012, after registering an average growth rate of 10 percent between 2000 and 2011.