National and international policy makers and industry require accurate information on coal, including coal quality data, to make informed decisions regarding international import needs and export opportunities, foreign policy, technology transfer policies, foreign investment prospects, environmental and health assessments, and byproduct use and disposal issues. Unfortunately, the information needed is generally proprietary and does not exist in the public domain. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in conjunction with partners in about 60 countries, is developing a digital compilation of worldwide coal quality. The World Coal Quality Inventory (WoCQI) will contain coal quality information for samples obtained from major coal beds in countries having significant coal production, as well as from many countries producing smaller volumes of coal, with an emphasis on coals currently being burned. The information that will be incorporated includes, but is not limited to, proximate and ultimate analyses; sulfur-form data; major, minor, and trace element analysis; and semi-quantitative analyses of minerals, modes of occurrence, and petrography. The coal quality information will eventually be linked to a Geographic Information System (GIS) that shows the coal basins and sample locations along with geologic, land use, transportation, industrial, and cultural information. The WoCQI will be accessible on the USGS web page and new data added periodically. This multi-national collaboration is developing global coal quality data that contain a broad array of technologic, economic, and environmental parameters, which should help to ensure the efficient and environmentally compatible use of global coal resources in the 21st century.