“People in Poland are burning garbage to keep warm as the energy crisis in Europe intensifies.”
With energy prices spiraling out of control, Europeans resort to firewood to keep themselves warm as winter approaches.
“In anticipation of surging energy bills, greater numbers of Europeans are turning to wood to heat themselves up this winter,” the French TV channel Euronews reported last week.
Germany sees a rise in timber theft as gas and electricity become increasingly unaffordable for ordinary Germans. “More wood is being stolen from German forests. The reason is the high energy prices and the shortage of firewood. The Forestry departments are responding with more controls, and forest owners are reporting of increasingly brazen thefts,” the German public broadcaster Der Tagesschau reported Monday.
And 33 years after the fall of Communism in Poland, the residents of Warsaw are burning household waste to stay warm. “People in Poland are burning garbage to keep warm as the energy crisis in Europe intensifies,” Business Insider reported earlier this month.
Euronews reported the worsening energy situation across Europe:
In anticipation of surging energy bills, greater numbers of Europeans are turning to wood to heat themselves up this winter.
[T]he story is the same across the continent: firewood prices are spiking, warehouses have filled their waiting lists until next year, and concerns have been raised that all this will lead to major environmental problems.
Government agencies have expressed concerns about illegal logging, as people are expected to venture into the forests to cut down their own fuel, although some politicians have been more lax than others.
Jarosław Kaczyński, Poland’s ruling party chief, said in early September that people should “burn almost everything, of course aside from tires and similarly harmful things.”
The Hungarian government has banned the export of pellets while at the same time pulling environmental regulations that prevented logging in protected forests.
Prices for wood pellets, a compressed form of woody biomass that typically burns better than ordinary firewood, have nearly doubled to €600 a ton in France, according to a Bloomberg report.
In Bulgaria, which relies heavily on wood burning for most households, prices have also doubled to nearly €100 per cubic meter. Local media reports from Poland last month asserted that prices of firewood have already doubled this year.
The Telegraph reported in August that firewood sales in the UK have increased fivefold this year.
In July, the EU also banned the import of Russian wood and pellets, and campaigners are warning that spiking prices will be felt the most by the poorest, especially those in Central and Eastern Europe where low-income households tend to be more reliant on firewood than gas.
Amid the rush for wood, crime has reportedly flourished.
With Russian energy imports drying out, Europeans pray for a mild winter. “Temperatures this winter will be crucial for homeowners worried about the record cost of heating their homes, and for European policymakers seeking to avoid energy rationing due to cuts in Russian gas supplies,” the TV channel France24 noted last week.
The dwindling oil and gas supply is slowing down the Continent’s economy and crippling industrial production. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is going into recession. “The German government and leading economists say that Germany is heading toward a recession,” the German public broadcaster DW News reported Monday.
German politicians, who once mocked President Donald Trump for warning them against energy dependence on Russia, are blaming Moscow for their foolish policies. German Energy Minister and Green Party leader “Robert Habeck blamed the gloomy forecast on Vladimir Putin’s attempts to use energy as a tool to destabilize Europe,” DW News added.DONATE
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