As part of the coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, it was agreed to accelerate Germany’s departure from coal by 2030. This is a key decision on the way to climate neutrality, and thus – to a secure future. The year 2030 is, according to scientists, the cut-off date for abandoning coal combustion for all EU countries, including Poland, which has still not started seriously planning a just transition.
According to scientific guidelines, abandoning coal is becoming a European norm, which is forced by the protesters. Polish activists and activists working for a secure future often face questions from the government “what is Germany doing?” or “protest in Germany” – this decision responds directly to such accusations, but also proves that the pressure makes sense:
– The fact that the new government coalition has announced that Germany will withdraw from coal by 2030 is a huge victory for the climate movement. The years of struggle of the Fridays For Future movement – on the streets of Germany and around the world – have just given real, political effects. This is the symbolic end of the coal age in Germany and proof that human strength has no limits. Now is the time for Poland – comments Dominik Lasot, an activist associated with Fridays For Future, whose Polish counterpart is the Youth Climate Strike, comments on the decision of our western neighbors.
It is not only the decision of German politicians that gives hope. This week, Portugal has become the fourth EU country to move away from coal, after Belgium, Austria and Sweden. In October, talks on a plan to move away from coal began in Bulgaria. Unfortunately, this is also a source of shame for Poland – thus the government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has become the only government in the EU that not only has not yet prepared a plan to abandon coal, but has not even started work on it. At the same time, the government of the United Right is planning the largest expansion of gas energy in the EU, i.e. it wants to invest in another, obsolete fossil fuel.
– All EU countries, including Poland, should abandon coal by 2030. The time of coal energy is over – the sooner our government admits it, the more efficiently it will be possible to make a fair transformation of mining regions and regions dependent on coal combustion in Poland. On the other hand, the longer the government delays in adopting the date of departure from coal, the more drastic the later collision with reality will be, and the local communities and employees of the sector will pay dearly for it – said Joanna Flisowska, head of the climate and energy team at Greenpeace.
Withdrawal from coal for economic reasons, according to the analysis of the already existing plans for closing PGE, Tauron and Enea power plants, indicates that the end of coal-based energy in Poland may take place by 2035 as part of the so-called business as usual, i.e. standard business activities. An additional 5 years of acceleration for a secure future is not unattainable. The current declarations of the Polish government, including the new Ministry of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa, according to which Poland will mine coal by 2049, are not true.
A just transformation must take place in Poland now. It should focus not on profits, but on the interests of people – taking into account the needs of both people working in sectors related to coal mining and combustion, but also those who are already suffering as a result of the climate crisis.