Published on July 6, 2020

Polish NGOs and citizen groups ask Prime Minister for coal phaseout date

In an open letter to the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, over 40 Polish NGOs and activists ask the government to set a clear coal phaseout date and commit to the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal.

“The Prime Minister and the government should immediately announce a target date for the exit from fossil fuels in the energy sector and the economy,” the letter writes, adding that the Polish government should commit to climate neutrality, like the majority of other EU countries.

“We need a plan to exit from coal and partnership with social actors and civic organisations to create jobs in alternative sectors to mining,” the letter continues.

In the absence of a clear coal phaseout date and proper planning for the transformation, the signatories of the letter warn, an unmanaged collapse of the coal sector will happen anyway – causing pain to Polish miners and their families and communities.

Without proper planning of the transformation too, Poland will not actually be able to tap into the considerable resources made available by the EU for the just transition of coal regions, the letter further warns. “According to information from the European Commission, money from the Just Transition Fund will not be available for a superficial transformation, or isolated projects, and especially it will not be given to any type of investments in coal (including the so-called “clean coal”) or for the further support of an economy based on non-renewale energy sources,” the text says.

The signatories include citizen groups active in Poland’s coal regions, academics and major Polish environmental NGOs.