It appears that the Polish government isn’t exactly telling the truth about their pledge to quit coal.
Now if you’re sitting comfortably we’ll begin this sorry tale of coal addiction:
On the 3rd of November, as part of an international agreement, Poland, along with 40 other countries and organisations, pledged to quit coal. The agreement was that major economies phase out coal in the 2030s and poorer ones in the 2040s. All fine so far.
Being based on trust, countries were able to choose which decade they would stop this nasty addiction.
But here the story gets a bit murky.
The Polish ministry of climate and environment decided that, despite being the 23rd largest global economy, (forecast to grow further in the coming years, according to the World Bank) and with ambitions to join the G20, to put the country in the ‘poorer’ category.
According to ministry boffins, they weren’t a “major economy” anymore and the phase out could wait until, not just the 2040’s but – wait for it- 2049!
The story ends badly (for the moment) with Poland dodging its coal commitment at a time when it’s absolutely paramount that they, and all OECD countries, stick to the 2030 deadline and keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C degrees, to avoid extreme climate breakdown. We sincerely hope that’s not the end of the story though. We hope that they will listen to the voices of those fighting on the frontlines as their homes and countries face destruction and quit coal sooner than later.