Heard in Europe

The green side of coal

Forget about renewables. Coal is emerging as the low-cost, green energy alternative, according to industry sources.

Fed up with seeing “coal ignored”, the European Association for Coal and Lignite (Euracoal) decided it’s time policymakers know there is no future to Europe’s energy security without coal.

With ongoing discussions in the European Parliament on energy alternatives to secure Europe’s demands, Euracoal decided it’s time to lobby for support amongst MEPs.

As rumours reached Heard in Europe, a number of lawmakers have received a calendar with humorous cartoons depicting the different benefits and facets of coal. Say what?

“This is one of the most unscientific and unserious lobbying methods I’ve come across. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” said Jytte Guteland, a Swedish MEP (S&D) who is a member of the parliament’s environment committee.

Together with the calendar, Euracoal attached its position paper on the parliament’s energy security paper.

Besides claiming to offer “one of the most attractive solutions to Europe’s energy problems”, the industry said coal is the “low-

cost route to greenhouse gas emission reductions”.

Darek Urbaniak, the WWF’s energy policy officer, said, “This is clearly a PR campaign in which they are trying to cover up the real
impact coal is causing on the environment.” 

“Coal is one of the most polluting energy sources, and no funny cartoons will change that,” Urbaniak continued.

“It reminds me of the tobacco industry’s cover-up when scientific research clearly showed what smoke does to people’s health,” said Guteland.

“Euracoal will eventually also realise that they cannot win trust by posing as friends of the environment,” she said.

Photographs courtesy of Euracoal.

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