Poles back renewables and climate action despite Tusk government’s total support of coal

Press release - November 12, 2013
Warsaw, 12 November 2013 - A poll published today by the Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) [1] showed that 89% of Polish citizens are in favour of increasing renewable energy production in Poland. As many as 73% want the Polish government to be active in preventing dangerous climate change, while coal and lignite based energy received minor support.

Maciej Muskat, Director of Greenpeace Poland, said:

“The Polish people want radical and far reaching changes in favour of clean energy. Prime Minister Tusk, and his government’s ongoing addiction to coal, is further undermining their credibility as Poland hosts the UN climate negotiations.”  

About COP19, Head of the Greenpeace Delegation, Martin Kaiser added:

“The EU would be much better positioned to lead the climate talks towards an ambitious, fair and legally binding protocol if the Prime Minister’s governments were representing its citizens. These talks need to carve a path towards a total phase-out of coal and build a future with renewable energy as we head towards a new global climate treaty in two years’ time.”

Coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, generates a staggering 90% of Poland’s electricity. Despite opposition from Polish people, the government forces the building of new coal-fired power plants and open-cast lignite mines, locking the country into a carbon intensive economy. The government has no credible targets for renewables [2] and blocks the introduction of renewables legislation as required by the EU.

“Tusk is out of touch with what the people want. The Polish government’s continuous support and promotion of a coal-based energy mix must end now. It is time for Tusk to follow the will of the people,” continued Muskat.

“Clean energy solutions that can eliminate the dominance of dirty energy are not only available today, but are technically and economically feasible. Embracing clean energy brings the government closer to the future Polish people want. It is time for Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and his government, to add the missing ingredient: A strong political will to phase out fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy.”

Many coal power plants are now aging and will have to be closed, creating a gap in the energy sector that could be filled by RE and energy savings [4].

By 2030 Poland can halve its coal demand, quadruple its renewable energy use and create 100,000 jobs in the energy sector, equaling employment in the country’s coal industry, according to a Greenpeace study [3] which proves that the Polish economy can cut its reliance on coal and abandon costly plans for new lignite open cast mines.

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.

[2] According to the government’s Polish Energy Policy until 2030 only 1% point increase in the RE share is expected between 2020 and 2030 in the country’s energy mix (from 15% in 2020 to 16% in 2030).

[3]  See the Greenpeace briefing: Poland at a crossroad at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/climate/COP19/Briefing-Poland-at-a-Crossroad.pdf

[4]   http://www.energyblueprint.info/

Contacts:

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

Email:

Maciej Muskat, Director of Greenpeace Poland, phone: +48 500 236 210
Email: 

Tina Loeffelbein, Head of Media Relations COP19, phone: +49 151 167 209 15
Email: 

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