Chinese coal burning set to decline first time in 14 years

China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined and is reliant on the fossil fuel for two-thirds of total energy consumption and 80% of its electricity generation.

2013 was the 14th consecutive year of rising coal consumption, output and imports for the country – albeit at a slower pace – but 2014 could become a turning point as the country wages a war on pollution.

China's July coal production rose in July for the first time in three according the latest official data released by the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association on Friday.

Platts News reports China produced 301 million tonnes of raw coal in July slightly up from June, but down 1.63% compared to the same month last year.

Despite a rise at major state-owned coal mines, year to date (end July) China's overall coal output has also declined slightly – down 1.45% to 2.163 billion tonnes compared to last year

Coal sales – which includes a limited amount of exports – stood at just over 2 billion tonnes, down 1.54% year on year.

China to ban coal use in Beijing by 2020

Source: EIA, 2014.