The European Union could likely replace Russian coal supplies with other major coal producers like the US, Australia, Columbia and South Africa, Anadolu Agency reported. The European Union will take the decision on making a shift to other coal producers before the deadline to ban Russian coal imports in August. Russia's reduction in gas supplies ahead of the coal embargo has resulted in the EU intending to look for other coal suppliers as Russia is its number one coal supplier.
Marco Giuli, an associate policy analyst at the European Policy Centre (EPC), told Anadolu Agency that the EU will have to import coal from other major suppliers like the US, Australia, Colombia, and South Africa as Russia accounts for around 50% of EU imports in 2020, as per the Anadolu Agency report. Giuli added that using coal for power generation is expected to give a rise to "European emissions in the short term." Guili stressed that the temporary reactivation of coal capacity could be monitored by the EU emission trading system. According to Eurostat data, Russia exported 55.6% of the EU's hard coal imports in 2020.
The statement of Giuli comes ahead of the European Union's ban on Russian coal imports and will take effect from mid-August as part of the fifth package of sanctions imposed against Ukraine. The reduction in Russian gas supplies before the coal embargo has resulted in the EU exploring other options for replacing coal imports from Russia, as per the news report. Russian energy corporation Gazprom on Wednesday, June 15, announced that it would be reducing the supply of gas through the Nord Stream pipeline as technical equipment has been sent to German firm Siemens for maintenance. Gazprom said that they could only supply 67 million cubic meters of gas through the pipeline, which marked a 60% reduction in gas supplies.
After Gazprom reduced gas supply through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria have announced plans to use coal plants to reduce gas use and store gas in storage facilities. Russia's energy giant Gazprom has previously cut off the natural gas supply to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. Notably, EU nations have been imposing sanctions against Russia over its military invasion of Ukraine and calling for reducing dependency on Russian energy. Earlier this month, the EU adopted the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes an import ban on Russian seaborne crude oil and petroleum products.
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