Europe is taking a big gamble as it moves to ban Russian coal, potentially leaving itself vulnerable to shortages and rolling blackouts while the rest of the world contends with surging prices.

Russia is Europe’s top supplier of thermal coal, used to fuel power stations. As the European Union joins the U.S. to take a harder stance against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, the continent has plans to phase out Russian shipments. The problem is that there’s no clear alternative for that huge chunk of trade, and the result appears destined to lead to a domino effect that creates a mad global scramble for coal.

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