By FRANK JORDANS
BERLIN (AP) — The International Energy Agency says coal use across the world is set to reach a new record this year amid persistently high demand for the heavily polluting fossil fuel. The Paris-based agency said in a report published Friday that while coal use grew by only 1.2% in 2022, the increase pushed it to an all-time high of more than 8 billion metric tons, beating the previous record set in 2013. The report notes that “robust demand” in emerging Asian economies would offset declining use in mature markets. Experts say the use of coal and other fossil fuels needs to be drastically cut to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) this century.