Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears Answered
Europe, with its smart cars, good public transportation, and high density, is often a beacon of hope for environmentally-conscious Americans. However, since coal remains a relatively cheap source of energy (at least in the short-term...), many European countries are turning to it as oil and gas prices rise, and concerns about energy stability and independence grow stronger.
Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears
Over the next five years, Italy will increase its reliance on coal to 33 percent from 14 percent.
And Italy is not alone in its return to coal. Driven by rising demand, record high oil and natural gas prices, concerns over energy security and an aversion to nuclear energy, European countries are expected to put into operation about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years, plants that will be in use for the next five decades.
The fast-expanding developing economies of India and China, where coal remains a major fuel source for more than two billion people, have long been regarded as among the biggest challenges to reducing carbon emissions. But the return now to coal even in eco-conscious Europe is sowing real alarm among environmentalists who warn that it is setting the world on a disastrous trajectory that will make controlling global warming impossible.