04 November 2021

Poland joins international coalition to exit coal

Glasgow, 4 November 2021 – Poland has joined a coalition of 190 countries and organisations in a new commitment to phase out coal power in line with the science of the Paris Climate Agreement, and end all support for new coal power plants. This signals a major change for Europe’s coal stronghold, but only if followed by new renewable energy targets and a 2030 coal phase out plan.

“In joining the Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement today, the Polish government has committed itself to phasing out coal power in the 2030s – more than a critical decade faster than its previous, late-2040’s murmurings,” said Kathrin Gutmann, Europe Beyond Coal campaign director. “Signatories have pledged to transition away from unabated coal in ways consistent with the Paris Agreement, which means a 2030 or earlier exit for OECD countries like Poland is unavoidable to halt warming to 1.5 degrees C. To prove it did not sign with disappearing ink, the Polish government now needs to demonstrate that it intends to focus on scaling up renewable energy targets, truly end all support for coal, and help its workers take advantage of the billions of Euros available in the EU’s just transition fund by phasing out coal this decade.”

“Poland is the only member of the European union not seriously discussing a coal phase out date, and with the recent pledge from Ukraine, also the only country in the region, but even this last bastion of coal has finally come to its senses.” said Pawel Czyzak, Head of Energy & Climate, Instrat. “It’s great that the Polish government has declared a change in its approach to climate, but it is still planning more subsidies for coal mines and plants, and blocking investments in onshore wind and the development of solar energy, which are essential to the transition beyond coal. Poland’s renewable energy potential is massive; its entire coal fleet could be replaced by wind and solar, but for this to happen, we need a dramatic change to the anti-climate, pro-coal politics of late, and to commit to a responsible just transition for coal workers.”  

“Finally the Polish government has accepted what is a no brainer: the time of coal has ended. Joining the COP26 declaration is only the first step, now it needs to be backed with action. Poland must set a clear and concrete plan to phase out coal by 2030 at the latest,” said Joanna Flisowska, Head of Climate & Energy Unit, Greenpeace Poland. “The Polish government can start by not throwing citizens money down the drain to keep its terminally uneconomic coal industry on life support, and instead focus on a swift and just transition towards renewable energy in a manner that will provide support to coal workers and communities.” 

 

ENDS

 

Contacts:

Alastair Clewer, Communications Officer, Europe Beyond Coal

[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185

Notes:

  1. UK government’s press release announcing the ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/end-of-coal-in-sight-as-uk-secures-ambitious-commitments-at-cop26-summit
  2. Overview of national coal phase out commitments: https://beyond-coal.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Briefing-Overview-of-National-Coal-Phase-out-Commitments-2-November-2021.pdf
  3. European countries already coal-free: Belgium (2016), Austria (2020), Sweden (2020).
  4. European countries with a coal phase-out by 2025: Portugal (end-2021), France (2022), UK (2024), Hungary (2025), Italy (2025), Ireland (2025), Greece (2025).
  5. European countries with a phase-out by 2030: North Macedonia (2027) Denmark (2028), Finland (mid-2029), Netherlands (end-2029), Slovakia (2030), Spain (2030).
  6. European countries with a phase-out after 2030: Germany (2038), Montenegro (2035), Croatia (2033), Romania (2032), Bulgaria (2038-40).
  7. Explore more data on the European coal phase out using the Europe Beyond Coal Coal Exit Tracker: https://beyond-coal.eu/coal-exit-tracker/
  8. Why Europe must phase-out coal by 2030 to respect the UN Paris climate agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C: https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/coal-phase-out/

About: 

Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to catalyse the closures of coal mines and power plants, prevent the building of any new coal projects and hasten the just transition to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our groups are devoting their time, energy and resources to this independent campaign to make Europe coal free by 2030 or sooner. www.beyond-coal.eu

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