Recently, there have been calls by some NGOs to boycott Colombian-produced coal, due to the country’s recent history of armed conflict. If Colombian coal is boycotted by the European energy companies, there will be a significant socio-economic impact on the people of Colombia. Today 89,000 people are employed by coal companies in Colombia – for each person employed, a further four jobs are supported. In the Cesar Province, 47% of its GDP comes from the mining sector.
During 2015, the Colombian government received $510 million in taxes and royalties from coal companies. In the last decade, the sector has generated US$5.4 billion in taxes and royalties, which have been used to finance many infrastructure and social projects.
Without the contribution of the coal companies, both in wages and payments to government, Colombia faces the very real possibility of high unemployment, poverty and large-scale migration of its citizens – the same factors that originally caused the armed conflict to begin.