Government and utilities around the world are willing to pay record amounts for coal. This is the sad reality that world leaders must face in the Glasgow climate change talks as hopes of ending the world's dependence on the dirtiest fuels are dying.
This year, the energy crisis in Europe has exposed vulnerabilities in the energy supply system. The UK has been particularly hard hit after calm weather hit wind power, exacerbating the impact of wider regional gas shortages and the shutdown of coal-fired power plants in Europe.
Meanwhile, the closure of factories in Europe was easily offset by new buildings in Asia. China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are planning to add more than 600 coal-fired power units. China alone is currently building or planning coal-fired power plants that are six times Germany's total coal-burning capacity.
The 2010s were the decade of renewable energy. Rapid growth in technology, huge government subsidies and falling prices have made a sea of solar panels and a forest of wind turbines commonplace.
However, despite the widespread use of renewable energy sources, burning coal remains the most popular method of generating electricity in the world, accounting for 35% of all electricity.
Coal is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions and the largest source of greenhouse gases in the power industry. While global CO2 emissions declined the most on record last year, this was due to a drop in pandemic-driven demand, not a decline in fossil fuel use.
Global emissions are skyrocketing again this year as the economy recovers and energy consumption spikes across the world.