Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said December 18 that Europe, China, and India should learn from the United States’ experience suggesting that access to inexpensive natural gas can lead to reductions in coal use, CO2 emissions, and electricity prices, even as carbon capture and storage technology appears unlikely to have a significant global impact before 2017. The agency’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2012 projects that coal’s share of the global energy mix will continue a relentless rise, particularly in China and India; by 2017 it will almost overtake oil as the world’s top energy source. The agency expects coal demand to increase in every region of the world in the next five years except in the U.S., where coal is being pushed out by natural gas.