Turning back to coal is bad choice. European countries ‘exploiting’ fossil fuel reserves of developing nations

The Russia-Ukraine war has threatened to cause an energy crisis in the coming winter as Europe’s biggest gas buyers from Moscow are finding alternative fuel supplies. As a result, they could burn more coal to cope with reduced gas flows. 

Recently, Germany said that it will take emergency measures to ensure it meets its energy needs after the drop in the supply of Russian gas. The so-called, emergency measures include increased use of coal. 

Germany’s economy ministry said in a statement: “To reduce gas consumption, less gas must be used to generate electricity. Coal-fired power plants will have to be used more instead.” 

On the other hand, Austria also announced that it would reopen a mothballed coal power station because of power shortages. After a crisis meeting of the government, the authorities said that they would work with the Verbund group, which is the country’s main electricity supplier, to get the station back in action.  

Meanwhile, the Netherlands said it would lift all restrictions on power stations fired by the fossil fuel. Earlier, they were limited to just over a third of output. 

Dutch climate and energy minister Rob Jetten told journalists in The Hague that the cabinet has decided to “immediately withdraw the restriction” on production for coal-fired power stations from 2002 to 2024. 

Europe is trying to cope with the crisis. In the process, European nations are inclined to burn more coal, but isn’t it hypocrisy?

The European governments have been accused of exploiting the fossil fuel reserves of the developing world. 

Leading European nations are firing up their coal plants again – after refusing to commit to climate financing. 

WATCH this report: 

If we talk about Germany, how the country will plan to exit coal in 2030? As the authorities said that will ease restrictions on power stations fired by fossil fuels. 

Not just Germany, the EU’s ambition is to become climate neutral by 2050. Going back to using coal for power generation seriously threatens that. 

Even Brussels raised concerns as European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told several European media in an interview: “We have to make sure that we use this crisis to move forward and not to have a backsliding on the dirty fossil fuels.” She added that it’s a “fine line and it is not determined whether we are going to take the right turn”. 

Neil Makaroff of Climate Action Network said that turning back to coal “is a bad choice” with structural consequences. Makaroff said that the “countries are continuing to back fossil energy rather than investing enough in renewables.” 

“The risk is substituting one dependency for another: importing Colombian or Australian coal, US or Qatari liquified natural gas, to replace Russian hydrocarbons,” he added. 


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