Polish Government's Coal Addition Has a High Cost for People's Health and the Climate

Warsaw, Poland - November 18, 2013: At the half way point of the major climate change negotiations of the year, attention turns to the Polish Government's overt attempt to use this meeting to push its own agenda on coal. 

Polish coal activist Kuba Gogolewski will reveal why the the Polish Government is addicted to coal despite  the fact it needs to import much of its supply and burning it costs its people their health. In a recent study by the European Environmental Agency, Poland's second city, Krakow,  has the third worst air quality in the world.

The Polish Government backed International Coal and Climate Summit, being put on by the World Coal Association and which opens today, will attempt to secure a future for coal. But 27 scientists will release a joint statement on how we cannot continue to burn coal and secure a safe climate. Dr Bert Metz will detail how the most of the world's coal reserves must stay in the ground, if we are to stay within the 2C threshold. 

Despite the Polish Government's attempts to hijack this meeting with its pro-coal agenda, the negotiations at the stadium roll on. Ministers will arrive on Tuesday, where the attention will turn to finance and the extra efforts countries need to be making to reduce carbon pollution in the short term. Ruth Davis, from Greenpeace, will reflect on the first week of the negotiations and look forward to the final five days.


• Ruth Davis, Greenpeace

• Kuba Gogolewski, CEE Bankwatch

• Dr Bert Metz, former IPCC Scientist and European Climate Foundation fellow

What: A CAN policy expert gives media a briefing on updates in the climate negotiations in Warsaw, while others speakers detail to costs of continuing to burn coal. 

When: 12.30pm CET, today Monday November 18th.

Where: COP19 Venue, National Stadium Warsaw, Press Conference Room 2 located on Level -2/Zone E6, right next to Plenary 2. The press conference will also be webcast live here: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/adp02/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kongressmain=241


Note:  As you arrive at the COP venue today, please look out for this stunt being staged by Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, ActionAid, WWF, Greenpeace and Christian Aid 

Venue: at the entrance of the COP conference at the Warsaw National Stadium (just before the security)

Time: 8:30-9:30am  

Date: Monday 18th November


The UN climate negotiations are taking place in Warsaw against a wave of scientific evidence for the central role that fossil fuels now have as the main source of climate pollution. This is in particular true for coal. Yet the Polish government has been persistent in pushing its pro-coal agenda, including supporting the staging of a provocative Coal and Climate Summit at the same time of the COP19.


Stunt Description

There will be two carpets, one red and one green. The carpets will be unveiled by two activists wearing traditional Polish folk clothes (representing the Polish Government). Delegates will be asked to walk on the green carpet (representing clean energy) while the activists will walk the red carpet, wearing masks in the shape of coal power plant tower. The red carpet will symbolise the warm welcome the Polish government has extended to the fossil fuel industry at this COP. Supports will line the sides with one big banner.

For further information, please contact:
Katja Ferbezar (Greenpeace) at +386 40 235 949    katja.ferbezar@greenpeace.si
George Smeeton (WWF) GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk, mobile: +44 (0)7917 052 948



For more information or for one-on-one interviews with the NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org


Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries. 



Our mailing address is:

Climate Action Network-International

Rmayl, Nahr Street, Jaara Building, 4th floor

P.O.Box: 14-5472, Beirut, Lebanon

Phone: +961.1.447192

Fax: +961.1.448649


Piotr Siergiej, the Polish Climate Coalition (cc)