Argentina has said it is considering ending coal exports as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite warnings of environmental impact and the possibility of a global downturn.
The National Coal Agency said on Monday it had no plans to export coal due to the “very high price of energy” and that Argentina was considering the possibility.
But the announcement could put further pressure on Argentina’s struggling economy as it struggles to meet an international carbon market that has driven a decline in exports of coal, oil and natural gas, which are essential for Argentina’s economic recovery.
“We are not going to export any coal to Europe, as there is no economic reason for doing so,” a senior agency official told a news conference on Monday.
“It is possible to export some coal to some countries but the price of power is high.
It is possible, but we don’t know.
It’s too early for us to say.”
The move comes amid concern that Argentina’s export-led economy is on the verge of collapse.
The central bank has slashed the country’s foreign exchange reserves by $500 million this year, with a major cut in gold reserves to $3.3 billion and a further reduction planned for 2019.
Argentina’s economy has shrunk to its lowest growth rate in more than three decades and exports have plummeted.
The economy grew by 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018.