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8:26 am | July 19, 2024
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germany has restarted environmental hazardous coal fired power plants
Aivee Akther International Environment

Germany has restarted Environmental hazardous coal-fired power plants

Germany has restarted Environmental hazardous coal-fired power plants


British colonialism weakened India’s ancient civilization in many areas, including the economy. As the British rulers looted the wealth of Indian subcontinents and enriched London, the people of India were starving.

Similarly, Africans has enslaved in North America. The West was able to industrialize only by exploiting colonial resources.

As colonies, India and Africa contributed significantly to the development of the West. Although these regions are now independent, the West still colonizes these regions in other ways. And that is ‘Carbon Colony.’

The same Europe that ‘lectures’ others to use coal for its own climate goals is turning its back on coal as they need fuel now.

An example is Germany’s actions at the beginning of last month. The 56th session of the subsidiary organization was held this June in Bonn, Germany.

It was the Bonn Climate Change Conference – June 2022. Representatives of about 200 countries and regions were present there. European diplomats were also there.

Two demands emerged at the conference, reducing carbon emissions and financing developing countries to combat climate change. However, did the Europeans agree? No, they disagreed.

They want more coal, and they want it from developing countries. In addition, developing countries at the COP26 conference expressed concern that rich countries are too slow to fulfill their commitments to the “devastation and loss” of life and nature caused by climate change.

Countries want a funding system to help their societies and economies recover. But overall, progress in this regard is very little.

The Ukraine war has shown Europe’s weakness to the world. The European Union has imposed sanctions on Russia over its military operations in Ukraine.

Russia also retaliated by cutting gas supplies to Europe. In addition, without this gas, Europe’s continent is returning to coal. Germany restarted their coal-fired power plants.

The Netherlands has deregulated the production of coal-fired power plants, and Denmark will probably make the same decision. Italy issued a warning on energy, and its power plants have stockpiled coal for months. They might use them soon.

Harjeet Singh, Senior Climate Impact Advisor at Climate Action Network, said, “It was hypocritical of Germany and others to source new fossil fuels abroad.

Because of the refusal to help developing countries deal with the problems of tides and sea level rise due to climate change.”

Why does Europe need more coal? Because they are suffering from severe heat waves. So, they need more gas for air conditioning.

The heat waves have increased their fuel consumption. But where will this fuel come from? Forty percent of the total gas consumed by Europe comes from Russia.

But this gas supply to Russia is not guaranteed now. Russia has already reduced gas exports. Russia’s state gas company Gazprom supplies gas to Europe.

Gazprom takes gas to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline. From there, it supplies gas to the entire continent of Europe.

By mid-June, that gas supply was not working correctly. Russia has cut gas exports to Europe by more than 50 percent. So, Europeans are going back to coal.

What will happen to Europe’s climate goals if we go back to coal completely? Europe wants to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030.

How is that possible? Europe has money so they will take unfair advantage. Where will they get the coal they need? Coal will import from other countries and the developing world.

The developing world will supply coal to Europe. Even already doing so. Colombia is one such country. Europe imported 1.3 million tons of coal from Colombia in March alone.

According to Bremer data, Colombian coal exports to Europe increased more than 47 percent this year. Another country exporting coal to Europe is South Africa. The country exported nothing to Europe in March last year.

But in the current year, two lakh 87 thousand tons of coal has already been exported. The United States, Australia, and Indonesia also export coal to Europe. Even these three countries combined cannot meet Europe’s growing coal demand.

These countries have increased their coal production targets full fill the Russian gap. It is because the European banks will not finance the purchase of Russian coal. So Europe’s energy companies have little choice.

So, they need to buy more and more coal from the developing world, and only through this can Europe survive the heatwave. So, what is the matter of Europe’s climate commitment?

It is challenging to solve the problem by shutting down coal-based power plants and buying power from outside. Europe has never tried to tell the world this in the past.

Rachel Rose Jackson, Director of Climate Research and Policy at Corporate Accountability, said, “The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is 30 years old. Thirty years later, the countries of the global north are still dangerously addicted to fossil fuels.”

While their commitment to keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, they fail to reduce fossil fuel consumption significantly.

Chiara Martinelli, Director of Climate Action Network Europe, said, “European countries urgently need to significantly increase their climate and energy targets by importing oil and gas from Russia, not developing countries. And they need to rein in fossil fuels. That’s what a climate leader should do.”

According to the World Bank, extreme weather causes 520 billion US dollars in damage yearly, pushing 26 million people into poverty.

According to the Global Carbon Project, the world’s 23 wealthiest countries account for half of the world’s total carbon emissions.

And most of these 23 countries are from Europe. Such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, and United Kingdom.

Only 7 percent of the world’s people live in Europe, but the subcontinent still uses nearly 20 percent of the world’s resources.

Germany recently rejected a European Union proposal to ban new fossil-fuel vehicles from 2035. Germany is home to famous car manufacturers, including Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.

Numerous examples could be given, but the bottom line is that if Europe wants coal, it can buy it. If Europe wants coal, it can keep its power plants running.

Because European air conditioners must keep on, when developing countries say they cannot stop using coal, they recommend shutting down the plants or Coal rationing. And when developing countries seek climate compensation and financing, and get rejected.

This is typical European hypocrisy, which treats the developing world as their colonies and makes the rules their own to suit them.

Translated by from Bangla

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