Greenpeace activists protest World Coal Summit hosted alongside UN climate talks

Press release - November 18, 2013
Warsaw, 18 November 2013 – Greenpeace activists from over 20 countries today protested on the roof of the Ministry of Economics against the World Coal Summit, hosted by the Polish Deputy Prime Minister and running concurrently with the UN climate negotiations in Warsaw. The activists hung a large banner which read, “Who rules the World? Fossil industries or the people?” On the roof were displayed flags from the US, Germany, Australia and many other countries.

Martin Kaiser, Head of the COP19 Delegation for Greenpeace International said:

“Hosting a PR event for the coal industry during a climate conference is a slap in the face to all the people suffering from the catastrophic impacts of climate change. New investments in fossil fuels, like coal and oil, need to be stopped and transferred into renewable energy.”

“As the major producers and users of fossil fuels, rich countries have a moral obligation to help those that, like the Philippines, suffer the knock-on effect from what is being burned in places like Poland. Here, at this COP19 it is absolutely necessary to make a plan to help those who are victimized by our addiction to fossil fuels,” added Kaiser.

A second banner asked ‘Who rules Poland? The coal industry or the people?’ in reference to a poll published on November 12 by the Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) [1] showing that 89% of Polish citizens are in favor of increasing renewable energy production in Poland, while their government ignores them. [2]

Maciej Muskat, Director of Greenpeace Poland said:

“Politicians are elected to stand up for the will of thepeople, not for the financial interests of an aging, dirty coal industry. Prime Minister Tusk must listen to the people and initiate a shift towards renewable energies.”

Currently representatives of 194 nations are gathered in Warsaw to find ways to address climate change. In light of the recent alarming findings by the IPCC, IEA and others, fossil fuels must be left in the ground and carbon emissions phased out by mid century to prevent catastrophic climate change. The first week of the climate negotiations was overshadowed by a collapse of mitigation ambition by Japan and Australia. [3]

The World Coal Summit is hosted at a moment when climate defenders in many countries show their courage against new investments into coal fired power plants, oil drilling and oil pipelines while governments fail to stand up the fossil fuel industry. “It is tragically offensive that the bosses of the climate-killing coal-industry are being warmly welcomed by the Polish government. Meanwhile the Arctic 30 are still sitting in cold Russian prison cells for their courage to protest peacefully to save the Arctic,” finished Kaiser.

Contacts:

Martin Kaiser, Head of Greenpeace Delegation
Phone: (PL) +48 518 785 814 (DE) +49 171 878 0817
Email:

Tina Loeffelbein, Head of Communications COP19
Phone: +49 151 167 209 15
Email:

Photos: Tel. +49–40–30618 376 , Email:

Videos: ftp.greenpeace.net, login: dvout, password: 3e4r5t

Notes: 

[1] The poll is the result of a representative opinion poll conducted between the 2nd and 11th of October 2013 by the Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) on the nationwide, representative and random sample of adult Poles (+18) based on the CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) quantitative research method commissioned by Greenpeace Poland. A total of 1066 respondents were interviewed. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/climate/COP19/Opinion-Poll-Briefing.pdf

[2] Energy Revolution for Poland http://www.energyblueprint.info/1821.0.html

[3] Greenpeace briefing on the first week of COP19 http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/climate/COP19/COP19-WrapUp-Week1.pdf

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