While some politicians  – ahem, Trump! – are trying to prop up the fossil fuel industry, there’s been a quiet revolution happening around the world.

People are ditching coal – the main global energy source since 2003 – like never before!

Burning coal is the biggest single source of carbon dioxide emissions from human activity, and mining it also releases the potent greenhouse gas methane.

So why is King Coal no longer the energy of the future? New research from Greenpeace and CoalSwarm shows why.

1. More governments are completely ditching coal than ever before!

23 countries, states and cities will have either phased out coal-fired power plants or set a timeline to do so by 2030. Before 2014, no major jurisdiction had completely phased out coal. How things have changed!

Activists Block Entrance to RWE Coal Plant in Eemshaven © Bas Beentjes / Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists, including brand new executive directors of Greenpeace Netherlands: Anna Shoemakers and Joris Thijssen, block the coal ship ‘Paquis’ which plans to unload coal from Russia for the largest coal-fired power plant in the Netherlands. © Bas Beentjes / Greenpeace

2. The capital cities of China and India are going coal free!

Three of the G7 economies have decided to phase out coal – with Italy looking like it might also be phasing coal out soon.

Air Pollution in Beijing © Greenpeace / Yin Kuang

The air in Beijing is heavily polluted. People wear masks on a day with air quality index of 320. © Greenpeace / Yin Kuang

3. 25% of companies in the coal business have completely pulled out!

This represents nearly 370 large coal-fired power plants shut down or not built in the first place – enough to power around six United Kingdoms, and equivalent to nearly half a trillion US dollars in assets retired or not developed.

© Will Rose / Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists climb the cooling tower of the largest and dirtiest lignite power station in Greece. © Will Rose / Greenpeace

4. In the USA, 14 coal plants have decided to close this year alone.

And that’s despite Trump’s pro-coal agenda.

Keep it the Ground Rally at White House in Washington D.C. © Robert Meyers / Greenpeace

Iris Carter of Norco, Louisiana, speaks at a Keep It In the Ground Rally. © Robert Meyers / Greenpeace

5.  More people are taking action to stop coal than ever before.

From the UK’s Kingsnorth protests, the Beyond Coal movement in the USA, to artists in Beijing to clean air activists in Delhi, people around the world are protesting dirty, polluting coal in favour of clean, renewable, affordable energy.

Concentrating Solar Tower Plant in Spain © Greenpeace / Markel Redondo

The PS10 Concentrating Solar Tower Plant uses 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats. The mirrors concentrate the sun’s rays to the top of a 115 meter (377 foot) high tower where a solar receiver and a steam turbine are located. The turbine drives a generator, producing electricity. © Greenpeace / Markel Redondo

It’s time we end the age of fossil fuels and help workers and communities transition over to renewables.

Lauri Myllyvirta is the Energy Analyst at Greenpeace East Asia