Poland’s coal conundrum | Euronews


On this version of Insiders we journey to Poland the place the Cop24 annual UN local weather convention lately concluded. Regardless of strain to maneuver to a cleaner vitality path, removed from reducing its carbon emissions, Poland appears intent on increasing its mining trade. Coal already accounts for round 60 % of Poland’s total vitality and generates 80 % of the nation’s electrical energy.

The Turów plant, in western Poland, is ranked among the many 5 most CO2-generating and likewise most polluting coal-fired vegetation in Europe. The city of Bogatynia is positioned near the Turów mine and its thermal energy plant. It owes its prosperity to coal, however that has come at a worth. In keeping with the European Atmosphere Company, air air pollution, primarily resulting from coal burning, kills round 50,000 folks a 12 months in Poland.

“The extraction and burning of coal, trigger many well being issues, particularly due to the coal mud and nice particles that smother us. Requirements are often exceeded.

“We really feel it in our mouths, in our eyes, in our noses, we see it on every thing round us,” stated one Bogatynia resident.

The European Courtroom of Justice has slammed Poland for the poor high quality of its air. Along with the mining trade, coal is used extensively for heating and cooking in Polish households.

On the current World Local weather Summit in Katowice, the capital of Silesia, environmental activists distributed anti-smog masks in an try to boost consciousness.

“From the 50 most polluted cities within the EU, 33 are positioned in Poland. And coal is likely one of the causes for international warming. That is why we have to section out coal,” one activist in Katowice stated.

For the second, nonetheless, the carbon neutrality advocated by the European Fee by 2050 appears a distant prospect within the nation. Along with the development of a brand new coal plant within the north of Poland, a number of mining websites plan to increase their perimeter in Silesia.

The regional head of the Solidarity Union in Silesia additionally says too quick a transition from coal can be a catastrophe economically.

“Twenty-five years in the past, when the restructuring course of started, we misplaced 1000’s of jobs, and solely a whole lot of jobs had been created in alternate. If the acceleration of the decarbonisation course of continues to be as sturdy because the European Union needs, we might not stand up to it both economically or socially. And anyway, we are going to proceed to purchase merchandise with a carbon footprint, coming from international locations that don’t care about local weather, or lowering greenhouse fuel emissions, like China, India, the USA, and so forth. And we are going to lose competitiveness within the European Union,” stated Dominik Kolorz, President of Solidarnoś Regional Board, Silesia.

Chatting with Euronews’ Valerie Gauriat following her journey to Poland’s coal mining heartlands, Insiders’ government producer and presenter Sophie Claudet requested:

“Poland is a part of the EU. Poland is significantly benefiting from being a part of the EU and but it does not play by the principles on the subject of carbon emissions. Reducing carbon emissions to be exact. Is it exposing itself to sanctions, probably fines, disputes throughout the EU?”

Valerie Gauriat: **_”W__ell, Poland has been slammed by the European Courtroom of Justice as regards air pollution and air high quality for one factor. However on the subject of CO2 emissions Poland will inform you that it’s abiding by the principles. Poland is a signatory of the Cop21 Paris settlement. And so it says it’s going to comply with the principles. Now whether or not it’s going to occur or not, whether or not the targets shall be reached by 2030 is but to be confirmed and on the subject of extra bold targets, it is made very clear that it could not go any additional. However however, Cop24 did not make any progress. There’s an settlement for a established order on the Cop21 Paris settlement, so it will not go any additional and in that sense Poland, for now, is kind of secure.”

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