On the map of Russia, Kuzbass in southern Siberia nestles roughly above Mongolia and Kazakhstan. It’s an area few Europeans know much about, and even fewer visit. But it’s a place most of us are inextricably linked to. For despite Europe’s shift towards renewable energy, coal from southern Kuzbass provides electricity which lights and heats homes, powers transport, and helps drive economies across our continent.
Kuzbass is the epicentre of Russia’s expanding coal industry: around 76 per cent of Russia’s coal exports come from there, and much of it is eventually shipped to European ports and converted into energy in Europe’s power stations.