Konin coalition stands up against coal

Feature story - 17 November, 2008
Our team at the Climate Rescue Station in Poland joined 400 local people who live close to an open coal mine for a mass demonstration. Seven mayors from nearby villages and towns, which are facing destruction because of the mine's expansion, also attended.

Coal mine expansion in Poland threatens the global climate and the displacement local people.

Our Climate Rescue Station - a four-storey-tall planet Earth - is sitting on the edge of the vast open pit mine in opposition to the expansion of coal-fired power plants, in Poland and the world.

The station contains exhibitions and information about coal and its impacts, and visitors can learn such suprising facts as this: one third of CO2 pollution comes from coal, making it the single biggest cause of climate change.

Poland uses coal for over 90 percent of its electricity production, more than double the world average, and is a major contributor to global warming. Poland is one of the top 20 states in the world for CO2 emissions.

Mayors and politicians supported action against the mine

"My people and I oppose the expansion of the mine because it will destroy the village we live in and force us to move," said Jozef Imbiorski, mayor of Tomislawice village.

Jozef Drzazgowski, leader of a local opposition group added, "Lakes are disappearing, forests are drying up and farmers are complaining that they do not have enough water to irrigate their lands. Expansion of the mines is not an option for thousands of inhabitants of this area."

Polish potential

Climate change is the biggest economic, humanitarian and environmental threat mankind is facing. Our Energy [R]evolution scenario, a detailed study of future energy pathways, shows how Poland can help solve the climate crisis by moving away from coal, using clean energy sources and implement energy efficiency. By 2050 Poland could produce 80 percent of its electricity from renewable energy resources.

On 1 December, 2008, a crucial UN climate conference will open in Poznan, Poland. On 8 December, a week into the talks, the Climate Rescue Station will be moved to Poznan Wolności Square where it will continue to send a message to delegates attending the climate talks to get serious about climate change, quit coal and work towards a meaningful deal to save the climate.

In Poznan, governments must agree a vision for climate action that should include the goal of global emissions peaking by 2015 and which contains emissions cuts of 25-40 percent by 2020 for developed countries. They must table a draft text for negotiations to begin early next year, so that they can be completed by the conclusion of the talks, taking place in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.

Support Us

Without donations from individuals like you we can't afford to create rescue stations like this and support our teams of campaigners and activists who are fighting for a coal free future. Please give what you can.