Sunday, April 14, 2024

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.


Coal Imports Rise As Nations Look For Alternatives to Russian Oil

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the world united to economically punish the government for its brutal actions. Many have already begun transitioning away from Russian oil, but that is leading some countries to purchase more coal.

In fact, the EU has already stated that it plans to reduce its oil imports from Russia by two-thirds by the end of the year. And it will fully cut off Russian oil by 2030. While this is for the best considering the actions Russia has taken, it raises the question of how can they pull it off.

For reference, the EU gets 40% of its oil from Russia. This is not something you can replace overnight. One way nations are going to accomplish this result is by relying heavily on coal usage in the meantime.

However, doing so is going to severely hurt climate efforts around the world.

According to the UN Secretary General, It’s Madness

The UN

In his first speech since the COP26 in Glasgow, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called the move “madness” and that it will close the window for the Paris Agreement.

He even went on to call on countries to reduce coal usage further and even called out China by name.

He called for richer nations to banish coal usage by 2030 and for all other nations (including China) to phase it out by 2040. And to make this a reality, he once again urged richer nations to make good on their promise to provide $100 billion a year.

While there is no denying that the short-term supply gap in the energy sectors is a real problem. Nations scrambling to fill it are not considering the toll on the climate.

Instead, nations should be focusing on ramping up renewable energy capacity.

Why Is It So Hard to Stop Using Fossil Fuels?

Many might look at these decisions and just not understand why nations would continue to invest in fossil fuels when an alternative already exists in renewables.

Well, to put it simply, the infrastructure is not ready yet. Nations are not in a position to completely cut off fossil fuel usage even if spending increases. It takes time to build infrastructure, and supplying an entire country is a huge challenge.

Especially when the demand for energy continues to increase.

There’s also the reality that the majority of our car fleet will still need gasoline and diesel. More than 1 billion vehicles use these fuels to operate, wich is not something renewables can fix.

Although electric vehicle usage continues to expand rapidly, it’s not fast enough to replace the world’s entire car fleet.

One Thing Is Certain, Russian Oil Will Never Recover

The permanent shift of where Europe will get its oil from will, of course, permanently shrink Russia’s oil industry. And as its largest industry, you can expect the entire Russian economy to follow suit.

Obviously, there will be some short-term pain as Europe moves away from Russian oil. However, It is the right decision to make based on the actions Russia has taken against Ukraine. But using more coal could mean a much hotter future.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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