Poland workers’ unions protest against EU’s pledge to end coal use

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In the aftermath of COP26, Trade Union members from Poland’s energy sector have joined hands to protest against a European Union (EU) move that discourages the use of coal. On Saturday, as many as 200 power plant and coal mine workers blew horns and waved union flags in front of the EU office in the capital city Warsaw. The workers argued that the bloc’s discouragement towards coal usage has led to its prices soaring touching the sky.

“YES for Poland’s Energy Sovereignty. NO to High Energy and Heat Prices,” the workers chanted as reported by the Associated Press.

Like other EU members, Poland also joined the global commitment to slash down usage of fossil fuels including coal at UN Climate Conference COP26 earlier this week. While Warsaw agreed to bolster the development and harnessing of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, it denied a complete closure of coal-fired plants before 2049. Interestingly, the Polish government’s plan of energy development focuses on Nuclear sources, once the country has the required infrastructure.   

Over 40 countries pledge to cut down coal usage 

Over 40 nations have pledged to shift away from coal in commitments made at the United Nations climate change conference or COP26 summit. Significant users of coal in the world including nations such as Poland, Vietnam and Chile are the ones that made the commitment but some of the world’s biggest coal-dependent countries including China and the United States chose not to sign up, as per BBC. 

In a separate commitment at least 20 nations including the US pledged to end the public financing for “unabated” fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022. Such projects burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, but do not use the technology to capture the Carbon Dioxide emissions. It is also pertinent to note that coal is the lone biggest contributor to climate change. The coal pledge, in which more than 40 nations signed up, implies that that the countries have vowed to end all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally.

(With inputs from AP) 

Image: biedexmarkets/Twitter 



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