Apr 6, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Where Russia sends its coal

Screenshot of coal exports from Russia in 2021

Screenshot: U.S. Energy Information Administration

The new European Union vow to ban Russian coal would block a major export market.

Why it matters: EU officials say the plan announced Tuesday, part of wider new sanctions, thwarts $4.4 billion worth of Russian revenues.

Yes, but: European leaders have not yet directly targeted natural gas and oil exports that are far more lucrative for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • But the bloc plans to wean itself from heavy reliance in the coming years.

The big picture: Russia supplies around 45% of Europe's coal. Other key suppliers include the U.S. and Australia.

  • "In principle, shipments from countries that have reduced exports to the EU are still largely available to substitute for Russian coal," analysts at the European economic think tank Bruegel said, per Reuters.
  • But Bloomberg reports the coal ban is nonetheless a "big gamble" because Europe is "potentially leaving itself vulnerable to shortages and rolling blackouts."
Go deeper