Poland confirmed its intention to continue to burn coal for more than a quarter of a century, in a press release intended to disappoint those looking for a rapid exit from the most polluting fuels.
The central European country was one of the main signatories of a British-organized pledge to phase out coal last week, a statement also signed by Canada, South Korea and Ukraine, and welcomed. by the British government as “marking a milestone of COP26 in the clean global energy transition”.
Poland has now confirmed that it will phase out coal by 2049, in line with its current policy.
The Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment said in a statement: “No responsible government would avoid its energy sources overnight, as this would lead to a situation where we could not ensure energy security and there would be no stable electricity supply.“
He added that he expects coal to produce between 11 and 28% of Poland’s electricity supply in 2040. Poland gets 70% of its energy from coal and said the transition would take twenty. at thirty.
As part of the ‘Clean Energy Transition Declaration’, major economies agreed to phase out coal in the 2030s and the rest of the world in the 2040s.
Poland, considered a high-income country by the World Bank, does not see itself as a major economy.
The Polish government, the latest to sign an EU pledge for net zero emissions by 2050, has said it is committed to meeting the mid-century target. “We are on board for the EU’s goal,” said Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński, a young climate and environment minister.
The presence of coal in the Polish energy mix until 2048 will force other EU member states to do more to reach the net zero goal by 2050. Polish officials argue that is right, because other countries Europeans are ahead of Poland, which is more dependent on coal.
The EU’s highest climate representative, Frans Timmermans, said the urgency had increased over the phasing out of coal in the EU. Speaking in Glasgow on Thursday, he said.
“Even some of our Member States just a few years ago said coal was forever. And now every member state of the European Union knows that there is no future for coal. It happened in a few years. So I think the sense of urgency has increased.
Delegates in Glasgow are arguing over the draft COP26 deal, which for the first time includes language on phasing out coal. Timmermans said removing this reference from the text would be a very bad signal.
“If you remove it from the text, what’s the message you’re sending out there?” Because the only way for humanity to learn to live within planetary borders is to get rid of the dependence on fossil fields that make our survival impossible.