Belchatow, Poland – The six Greenpeace activists who climbed the Belchatow coal power plant tower on Tuesday to demand an end to the use of fossil fuels descended at 10:30PM CET on Wednesday because of dangerously high levels of air pollution.

Greenpeace campaigner Paweł Szypulski said:

Belchatow coal plant is the largest climate killer in Europe. The poisonous gases that forced the activists to end their activity only reinforce what we have been saying: there is no future in coal and plants like Belchatow must be shut down. Countries meeting at COP24 must now respond.

The Greenpeace activists spent more than 40 hours on top of the 180 metre-high chimney at Belchatow, the largest climate polluter in Europe and one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the world, to demand climate action and an urgent coal phase out.

A decision was made to climb down the chimney when the activists’ equipment indicated levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions were at critical safety limits. These gases cause air pollution, contributing to the formation of smog and acid rain. The activists – from Poland, Germany, Hungary and Indonesia – had to descend quickly out of safety concerns, leaving some of their equipment behind.

Greenpeace took action at Belchatow to urge political leaders meeting at next week’s UN climate talks (COP24) in Katowice, Poland to take responsibility and address the global climate crisis by taking urgent, immediate action.

ENDS

Photo and video footage can be accessed here

Contacts:

Luisa Colasimone, Communication lead, mobile +351 910 678 050 or +32 479 100 067, luisa.colasimone@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)