Confronting coal in Europe

Feature story - 2 December, 2008
As politicians gather to discuss the future of our climate, we took dramatic action on land and at sea to kick start an energy revolution. In Poland, activists carrying a banner reading “Quit Coal, Save the Climate” have scaled the 150 metre-high chimney of the Pątnów power plant. Meanwhile in the Baltic Sea, activists have intercepted the 300 metre-long ship Hanjin Imabari. The ship is carrying a load of coal from Richards Bay, South Africa to North Europe’s biggest coal terminal at Danish coal plant Enstedværket in Aabenraa.

Government leaders need to quit their addiction to coal GET SERIOUS about climate change in Poznan.

In Brussels  EU diplomats are working on the 'Climate Package', a collection of policies intended to cut CO2 emissions in Europe. Meanwhile, at the UN climate talks in Poznan, delegates are entering the second year of negotiations about how the world can cut emissions. If the EU agrees a strong package the world may follow, if it doesn't global negotiations could be fatally weakened. Our actions are sending the message to the politicians to stand up to dirty coal power and save the climate.

Tell your EU leaders to do their part at

Coal is the threat

Coal power is the biggest threat to the planet. Not just because coal is the single biggest contributor to global emissions of CO2, but because of the way the coal industry's political influence threatens to derail climate action. In Poland coal supplies 93 percent of the electricity, and this has led the government to try to sabotage the climate negotiations by demanding large opt-outs and weaker goals.

But it's not just Poland with a coal problem. Next door Germany might have pioneered wind and solar power, but it too remains under the influence of energy companies like E.ON and Vattenfall who are concerned that saving the environment threatens their profits.


An Energy [R]evolution is the Answer

It doesn't need to be this way. Countries like Denmark and Spain have made big progress in developing their renewable industries and Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution scenario shows how the rest of the world can follow suit. By investing in energy efficiency and clean, renewable power the world could not only cut emissions, it could save money and create jobs. The EU could still use its climate package to trigger an energy revolution around Europe and inspire the world. That's why we're taking action.

By taking our message to the heart of coal country we're making our position clear. In the next few weeks our politicians will do the same. We'll find out if they've got the backbone to stand up to coal and finally make good on 20 years of failed promises.

Take Action!

Tell world leaders in Poznan that the world is watching and that it is time to GET SERIOUS about climate change.

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