Poland seeks licensing on Russian coal to limit imports

7th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

Hit hard by a Russian embargo on apples and meat, Poland on Friday moved to limit Russian coal imports by adopting a licensing system for importers.

Under the new law passed by the lower house of parliament, coal importers will now have to obtain a licence from Poland's URE energy regulator.

Imported coal will also have to meet rigorous standards, including norms for lower emissions, according to the law which must now get senate and presidential approval to enter into force.

Polish coal miners protesting against Russian coal imports prompted the measure.

They claim that cheap imports are undermining the Polish sector.

Poland's new centre-right Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz made the law a priority after taking office in September.

A country of 38 million that has seen steady economic expansion since it shed communism a quarter century ago, Poland is almost entirely reliant on coal for electricity.

Warsaw has not ruled out vetoing the high carbon cuts likely to be demanded by other European Union members as part of a push to limit emissions spurring climate change.

In 2013, Poland extracted a total of 76.

5 million tonnes of coal and exported 10.

6 million tonnes.

It also imported about 11 million tonnes of coal, including 70 percent from Russia.

The crisis in neighbouring Ukraine has sparked a raft of tit-for-tat sanctions between the EU and Russia, but Moscow's energy exports to the bloc including natural gas, oil and coal have not been hit.

© 2014 AFP

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