Poland: Coal, Climate and Contradiction

18 November 2013

There is not much worse you can do as the presidency of the COP than hosting and blessing what’s advertised as the ‘coal industry’s most important event of the year’.

Just three kilometres away from the venue where discussions on how to avoid the worst impacts of global warming are ongoing, coal lobbyists will be repeating the lie that saving the climate and burning coal can go hand in hand. All of this is applauded and supported by the Polish government, the very same one that invited climate negotiators to Warsaw.

While the government of Poland is fixated on protecting the coal industry against effective climate policies, an overwhelming majority of the citizens of Poland are in favour of climate protection and would like to see more investments in renewable energy instead of the massive state subsidies going to coal.

Finding itself isolated in the EU and accused of misusing the COP Presidency for promoting its own agenda, the Polish government has turned to one of its last true friends, the World Coal Association. To demonstrate their shared love for coal, these soul mates together developed together the agitprop of the decade: the 'Warsaw Communiqué'. This short screed advocates that you can tackle climate change with continued coal burning. It’s like claiming you can cure lung cancer while smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.

But ECO reminds the Polish government that according to the International Energy Agency, two-thirds of proven fossil-fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we want to have any chance of staying below 2°C of warming.

Coal and Climate have only one thing in common — both words start with C.

Continuing that Contradiction will lead to Climate Catastrophe unless the Coal stays in the ground. 

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