Cover Osteuropa 7-9/2020

In Osteuropa 7-9/2020

Black Jack
Russia’s coal industry in the age of climate change

Stephen Fortescue, Ellie Martus

Deutsche Fassung


Russia is playing an increasingly important role on the global coal market. The large mining corporations in the country have expanded their coal extraction, and ever larger quantities of coal are being exported. The coal sector simply ignores the existence of climate change – as does the state, which assists the entirely privately-owned companies in the coal sector with huge, covert subsidies. In particular, the government is providing funds for the expansion of the railway routes from the main extraction region in the Kuzbass to the Pacific ports more than 5,000 kilometres away. These measures are based on the assumption that international climate policy will fail, since if it does succeed, enormous investments will be lost. However, it is the people living in Russia who are paying the price for this huge gamble, particularly in the Kuzbass. They are the ones who are suffering from the devastating air pollution, noise and appropriation of land that are the direct result of the extraction and transportation of coal.

(Osteuropa 7-9/2020, pp. 103–130)