Poland scarped a ban on use of lignite, or brown coal, to heat homes until April next year as part of efforts to help citizens go through the cold winter with a potential energy supply shortfall.
Lignite hasn't been used for family heating for years in Poland because it releases more pollutant substance into the air than many other types of coal when burning at home.
The makeshift regulation came after Poland in April announced an immediate ban on Russian coal used by millions of households and heating plants in smaller towns, in response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine. This was four months earlier than EU's official ban on Russian coal coming into force, leaving a short period for the country to make alternative measures.
Poland's embargo on Russian coal backfired as many residents were forced to line up for days to stock up on heating fuel. In 2021, Poland imported 12 million tonnes of coal, of which 8 million tonnes came from Russia and used by households and small heating plants.
Facing the energy crisis, many EU countries, which had been strong advocates of green energy and carbon neutrality, have made a sudden U-turn.
It was learned that Germany, the largest economy in the bloc, have reopened or prolonged the use of at least 20 coal-fired power plants to boost energy supply. Even the country's most radical environmentalists compromised, saying coal is the quickest and most cost-effective answer to Germany's energy crisis.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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