Wednesday

7th Dec 2022

Poland's coal phase-out 'feasible' by 2035

  • Polish deputy prime minister, Jasek Sasin, was recently quoted saying that coal could remain part of the Polish energy mix as long as up to 2060 (Photo: Kris Duda)

Poland's coal phaseout should take place by 2035 if the government does not interfere, according to a new report of the environmental group Greenpeace Polska.

Polish state-run utilities PGE, Enea, and Tauron, which own 94 percent of coal-fired power plants in the country, are expected to close by 2035 because of their life plan and unfavourable market conditions.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

However, Greenpeace is concerned that the Polish authorities will extend the operating life of these utilities after national media uncovered that the government plans to subsidise coal-fired plants until 2040.

Additionally, the Polish deputy prime minister, Jasek Sasin, was recently quoted saying that coal could remain part of the Polish energy mix as long as up to 2060.

The country, where over 70 percent of energy mix depends on coal, refused so far to set a specific coal-exit date.

Meanwhile, the situation in the region of Upper Silesia - where most of the hard coal mines are located - is becoming tense.

After an attempt by the Polish authorities to allegedly close two mines in the region, miners' unions threatened the government with a new "uprising" in Silesia in late July.

The government then started talks with coal companies and trade unions about "the future of mining" - due to conclude at the end of September.

"Poland and other European Union countries should abandon coal combustion in the energy sector by 2030 at the latest ... to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change," warned the green group, demanding that no state aid is provided for coal-plant closures that do not take place by 2035.

"Why on earth - in times of economic and climate crisis - should we pay for prolonging the lifetime of climate killing business?," said the head of climate and energy at Greenpeace Polska, Joanna Flisowska, who believes that "without new lifelines and subsidies coal is at the dead-end even in Poland".

"The European Commission needs to ensure that there is no state aid provided for the coal energy sector to run business as usual or even worse delay phasing out coal," she added.

According to a previous proposal of the commission, Poland would receive the largest funding slice of the Just Transition Fund - allocating the upper limit of the fund to Poland, despite Warsaw's refusal to commit to the EU 2050 climate-neutrality target.

The Just Transition Fund, which aims to support fossil fuel-dependent regions to green their economies, was cut to €17.5bn from the initial €40bn during the last summit in July.

Poland's climate neutrality pledge - delayed again?

Although Friday's summit was supposed to be an opportunity for Poland to commit to climate neutrality by 2050 - like the rest of the EU - the coronavirus has postponed that discussion, with domestic elections also upcoming.

Interview

Kaczyński turning Poland into 'Franco's Spain'

Polish ruling party chairman Jarosław Kaczyński is trying to turn the country into a Roman Catholic dictatorship, Poland's former foreign minister has said.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  4. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  5. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  6. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe

Latest News

  1. EU takes legal action against China over Lithuania
  2. EU Commission shoring up children's rights of same-sex parents
  3. The military-industrial complex cashing-in on the Ukraine war
  4. EU delays Hungary funds decision, as Budapest vetoes Ukraine aid
  5. Borrell gets pension from MEP fund set for taxpayer bailout
  6. Autocrats make us all less secure
  7. Big Agri's lies: green EU farming not to blame for food insecurity
  8. German top court declares €800bn EU recovery fund 'legal'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us