U.S. coal exports to Europe skyrocket
JAENSCHWALDE, Germany — Europe has a secret: It is burning a lot more coal.
Europe's use of the fossil fuel spiked last year after a long decline, powered by a surge of cheap U.S. coal on global markets.
The new dependence on one of the dirtiest fuels shows just how challenging it is to maintain the momentum needed to go green, analysts and officials say, and shows the far-reaching effects of America's natural gas boom.
In the United States, natural gas is frequently less expensive than coal, so demand for the hard, black fuel has plummeted. Ships are steaming the coal around the world instead. U.S. coal exports to Europe were up 26 percent in the first nine months of 2012 over the same period in 2011. Exports to China have increased, too.
“It's been very welcome that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have been going down because of the switch to gas,” said David Baldock, executive director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London. “But if we're simply diverting the coal somewhere else, particularly to Europe, a lot of those benefits are draining away.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Canadian woman who helped ducks gets prison in fatal crash
- Cezanne likely to attract bidders
- 8 children killed, mother stabbed, in Australia
- FBI issues alert on Iranian hackers
- Analysis: Antibiotic-resistant superbugs could kill more people than cancer
- Americans, Belgians gather in Ardennes to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of the Bulge
- Police end Sydney hostage siege after 16 hours
- 2 ISIS leaders dead in airstrikes, U.S. says
- Russia says it has right to put nukes in Crimea
- 15,000 ‘pinstriped Nazis’ march in Dresden to protest Islamic extremism
- Taliban siege at Pakistani school ends with 141 dead