EnergyWatch

Energy crunch drives carbon to record as Europe burns more coal

Europe is growing increasingly reliant on coal to keep the lights on as the weather turns cold, sending the cost of polluting to a record high.

Photo: Mark Schiefelbein/Ritzau Scanpix

Carbon prices exceeded 70 euros for the first time ever as utilities turn to the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Power plants in the UK are burning the most coal since the beginning of the month to keep the lights on as the cooler-than-normal weather and sub-zero temperatures are forecast for major cities this week.

Europe is facing an energy crisis as economies emerge from pandemic and people return to the office. That's boosting demand at a time supplies remain limited. Years of reduced investments in fossil fuels has combined with low wind speeds this year to send gas, power and carbon prices breaking records day after day.

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