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18 sierpnia 2021

IPCC report leaves no doubt: Turów must stop operating at least by 2030

On 9 August 2021, the report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published. Polish NGO’s, referring to IPCC scientists’ opinion, sent an open letter to the President of the Polish Energy Group, with a proclamation to the Minister of State Assets and the Minister of Climate and Environment. They demand immediate action to protect Poland’s future. Today we know that ensuring a safe future for us and our children means giving a date for the closure of the Turów mine and power plant compatible with the report’s guidelines.

The IPCC Monday report made one thing clear: the time for delaying change is long past. Our future depends on the actions we start now. UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres emphasized that OECD countries must stop building new coal-fired power plants starting next year and phase out coal by 2030.

This is clear signal to countries such as Poland, which is forgetting that being a member of the OECD it is no longer a poor or developing country. Persisting with coal beyond 2030 means tragic consequences of climate catastrophe for all of us (including those from countries much poorer than Poland) and the foretaste we can observe today: prolonged periods of drought, fires, floods, ocean acidification, rising sea and ocean levels, etc.

The government can no longer pretend that this problem does not concern us. Meanwhile, neither the PGE, which is the State Treasury Company, nor representatives of the Polish government have made any reference to the IPCC report. In an official announcement from the Ministry of Climate and Environment[1], there is no word on the actions that Poland will undertake in the near future to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

In the position sent to the "Gazeta Wyborcza" office the Ministry refers, among others, to the “Fit for 55” package of the European Union. However, it does not mention how it intends to meet the requirements included in the package, since the government is still stubbornly planning to extract hard coal until 2049 and brown coal (from Turów mine) until 2044.

“IPCC report leaves no doubt: Turów must stop operating at least by 2030. It is also necessary to analyze the costs of Turów power plant and mine shutdown at the end of 2026. Therefore, we call on PGE and Polish politicians to take a responsible stance. Many bad decisions have been made in the Turów case, but it is still not too late for changes,” comments Kuba Gogolewski, projects coordinator at the Polish National Coalition „Development YES - Open Pit Mines NO", “Neither the government nor PGE have so far even presented an analysis of the costs of ending the operation of the Turów complex by 2026 or 2030. Also, as part of the discussion on transferring coal-fired power plants and mines (including the Turów complex) to National Energy Security Agency (NABE), no dates for moving away from coal compatible with the scientific consensus on climate have emerged.”

“Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clearly state that countries such as Poland have to give up coal completely by 2030. Therefore, Bogatynia region has little time to switch to green energy, create new jobs for PGE employees and develop new industries. The EU’s Just Transition Fund created for this purpose can help in such transformation, but without a date for Turów’s closure – earlier than 2044 – the region has no chance of receiving these funds,” emphasizes Katarzyna Kubiczek, project coordinator at EKO UNIA.

The world is boiling and the climate crisis is killing life on our planet. The IPCC report gives us hope that avoiding the black scenario is still possible as long as we quickly resign from burning coal. That is why we sued PGE GiEK – the owner, among others, of the opencast mine and power plant in Turów – and in the courtroom we will demand decarbonization from the concern by 2030 at the latest”, adds Katarzyna Guzek from Greenpeace.

LETTER TO DOWNLOAD: https://rozwojtak-odkrywkinie.pl/publikacje

Photo: Turow_credit_Greenpeace_Ruben Neugebauer_1(2)

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