Germany turns to coal again as Russian gas imports dwindle
18 August 2022 | 11:44 am
Coal is seeing a bit of a revival in Germany, with out-of-service power plants being placed back online as gas supplies from Russia fall. But bringing coal-fired plants back online is easier said than done.
19 Nov 2021
Shrouded in toxic smog, New Delhi has shut down schools and workplaces. Though nations pledged to move away from coal at the UN climate summit, India is reluctant to replace the polluting fuel source.
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Around the world, coal-producing countries are struggling for a "just transition" away from fossil fuels. But for Donbas in war-torn Ukraine, shuttered mines threaten ecological disaster.
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Fifty-one people have been killed in Russia's worst mining disaster in a decade, prompting three days of mourning in Siberia's Kemerovo region. Among the dead were five rescue workers, although a sixth was found alive and taken to hospital in a serious condition. The blast happened at the Listvyazhnaya mine when coal dust caught fire in a ventilation shaft on Thursday. Rescuers suffocated as they tried to reach dozens of missing miners.
Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel and emissions from burning it are a major contributor to climate change. At the global climate summit, 77 signatories have pledged to phase out coal by 2050. But some of the world's biggest users like China, US and Australia have not signed on to the plan.
Shipments of Russian natural gas through the Yamal Pipeline have sharply declined, a week after Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Gazprom insists it's fulfilling all of its European contracts, but the data has underscored the EU's dependence on Russian energy imports. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says ending that reliance is now a priority. Also in the show: the Russian rouble falls to a new record low, and Western companies continue to cut ties with Moscow.
The German town of Jemgum is the site of a huge gas storage facility owned by a subsidiary of Russia's energy giant Gazprom. The mayor now wants the operators to foot the bill for the costs it incurs his town.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country would start selling gas to certain nations in Russia's own currency, prompting a rise in the ruble's value on the Moscow Stock Exchange.
The European Union is mulling a total phaseout of coal imports from Russia as the bloc considers how to move away from Russian energy. Germany has voiced support for a possible coal embargo.
The European Union has proposed a ban on imports of Russian coal, as the bloc expands sanctions on Moscow. But how important is coal to the EU's energy mix? Also in the show: Elon Musk officially joins the board of directors of Twitter, after becoming the platform's single biggest shareholder.
As pressure mounts for a ban on Russian gas and oil imports, the DIW think tank suggests that alternative suppliers and lower consumption could free Germany from its dependence on the Kremlin to cover its energy needs.
The rest of Europe may not be at war, but is it ready for the sacrifices of a wartime economy? The Kremlin shutting the gas tap on Bulgaria and Poland may be but a prelude to a brutally swift transition away from Russian gas and oil. Deals will be dropped, money will be lost.
Coal producers in South Africa try to recover some of the market share lost by Russia following Europe's sanctions. Some of them last traded with the continent more than a decade ago. Also, the Central African Republic makes Bitcoin its official currency alongside the CFA franc, but the move is raising eyebrows in a country with little internet access. And we take you to the Paris Saint-Germain football academy in Rwanda, six months after it opened.
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