THE coal industry will grow in the next 35 years but at a snail's pace compared to its previous boom, the International Energy Agency believes.
In a report released on Thursday the global body said the boom days of huge growth in the demand for coal were over.
The World Energy Outlook 2014, which offers projections to 2040, said coal would see demand grow, but at just 0.5% per year.
"Growth of coal demand is constrained by new air pollution and climate policies in the main markets - the United States and China - but also in Europe," it said.
"Coal use continues to grow briskly in India. China, India, Indonesia and Australia alone account for over 70% of global coal output by 2040, underscoring Asia's importance in global coal trade and pricing."
The prediction comes after a poor year for the Australian coal industry, with prices collapsing.
But GVK Hancock, the proposed Alpha coal mine developer, is not concerned about the market's future.
GVK Hancock corporate affairs manager Josh Euler said the company had strong contracts signed and would take advantage of the growth of the Asian appetite for coal.
"We have a solid order book for our coal and an ongoing dialogue with customers throughout Asia," he said.
"The medium- to long-term prospects of coal demand shows ongoing growth and this will create a global supply shortfall in the coming years with our coal assets uniquely positioned to deliver such new supply."
Anti-coal industry advocates Stop Australia Coal Exports did not respond to requests for comment.
But the group posted on its Facebook page that suggestions a US and Chinese agreement to reduce greenhouse would not hurt the Australian coal market was "wishful thinking".
- APN NEWSDESK