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Published on March 27th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

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Poles Want To Switch To Renewable Energy Sources

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March 27th, 2014 by
 

Originally published on 350.org.

Guest blog from Diana Maciąga, Global Power Shift participant and organiser for the Association Workshop for All Beings/ StopEP campaign Diana Maciagna, StopEP campaign

The vast majority of Poles want their country to take strong action on climate change and shift to renewable energy. This is the result of a representative nationwide poll by TNS Polska in March 2014 commissioned by campaigning community Avaaz.

According to the poll, 88 percent agree with the notion that Poland should focus on building its own renewable energy supplies to gain independence from Russian gas supplies. Sixty-seven percent agree with the statement that climate change is a threat to their own or their children’s lifestyle in the coming decades.

As European leaders convene in Brussels from 20-21 March to discuss EU climate and renewable energy goals, the poll shows that 59 percent think that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk should support the call for an EU goal to reduce CO₂ emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030. In addition, 57 percent state that it is likely that politicians’ position on renewable energy and climate change solutions will affect how they vote in future elections.

This poll shows very clearly that Polish citizens want our country to take strong action on climate change and shift to renewable energy sources. Our government has to stop blocking EU climate action and we cannot allow private projects such as Elektrownia Północ, which put us on the worst possible path for our energy future.

Stopping the largest new coal power plant in Europe

Elektrownia Północ, also known as the North Power Plant, is the largest of the new coal power plants planned in Europe. If built, it would emit around 10 mln tons of CO₂ a year and lock Poland into coal dependency for at least another 35 years. Pollution from the plant poses a threat to human health, cultural heritage sites, farmers’ livelihoods and the precious local ecosystems including the Vistula river.

That is why we have set up the Stop Elektrownia Północ campaign and launched a petition calling on the main investor Dr Jan Kulczyk to stop investing in the coal power plant. As Chairman of Green Cross International’s Board of Directors and member of the Climate Change Task Force, he regularly declares his concern for the environment. He has for instance said, “We have a choice. Unless we start to eliminate the sources of global environmental risks today, tomorrow they will eliminate us.” Let’s hold him to his word!

So far, more than 5,000 people have joined the call urging Dr Kulczyk to put his money where his mouth is. Help us stop Elektrownia Północ by adding your voice to our petition.

It is clear that the Polish people want an energy transition. That means that a new dirty energy project like Elektrownia Północ should never be built. Instead, the government needs to support a massive scale-up of renewable energy – also led by citizens themselves -, which will free Poland from dependency of coal and Russian gas.

Find more information about the EP campaign at http://www.stopep.org/en.

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  • http://drjagadeeshncda.blogspot.com/ Anumakonda Jagadeesh

    There is excellent scope to harness Renewables in Poland. I visited that country.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

  • dana

    You silly people, with your solar panels and windmills, live on another planet …

    • A Real Libertarian

      “You silly people, with your solar panels and windmills, live on another planet …”

      It’s called Earth.

      You should visit sometime, our sky is blue.

  • anderlan

    “calling on the main investor Dr Jan Kulczyk to stop investing in the coal power plant. As Chairman of Green Cross International’s Board of Directors and member of the Climate Change Task Force”

    I’m sorry, my head assploded for a moment, what did you say?

    These folks who have billions of dollars in capital, talking out both sides of their mouths instead of SIMPLY DOING WHAT’S RIGHT. You’ll get paid for it, believe me. Be a damned human being, man!

    • Omega Centauri

      Unless by Climate Change Task Force, they mean “Lets force the climate to change as much as we can make it”!

    • Larry

      Well at least the Koch Bros. only spend billions to thwart Renewable Energy projects. No public support for Clean Energy. No hypocrisy there–just genuine assholes.

  • JamesWimberley

    The timing of the poll in March means that the response includes some of the impact of the Ukraine crisis – but it could have been before or after the Russian annexation of the Crimea. However, Polish concern about dependence on Russian gas is likely to stay very high indeed. This could work either way on coal, a domestic resource with a mystique. Green Poles can use the argument that renewables offer a faster path to energy independence from Russia. Putin ia an immediate threat.

  • spec9

    But won’t the poles just double-down on coal to become independent from Russia?

    • jec

      The Polish government is trying to keep the demand, and thereby the price, of coal high. Falling prices the latest years has meant that the first Polish coal mines have closed, and the rest is under pressure.
      The government is therefore doing everything they can to keep demand up and protect the profit of the coal mines. According to Bloomberg a couple of months ago, the electricity company behind these new coal plants wanted to dump them, as the foresaw, correctly, that they, in the envirronment of falling elctricity prices in Europe, never would be profitable. However the government intervened, and demanded them build.

      • Omega Centauri

        Are Polish politicians “owned” by fosil fuel oligarchs? It sounds like they know who butters their bread, and are doing their bidding.

  • No way

    Nice… I hope the polish people go out into the streets to show this too. A few thousand people protesting by both the new coal plants and the old ones will make companies and governments listen to them.
    It is time for a (gentle) energy revolution.

  • jec

    It will take another 6 to 7 years before the North Power Plant is ready to produce electricity. Before that time, wind from the North of Poland and solar cells from all of Poland, will be able to produce electricity cheaper than this monster of a power plant.
    The North Power plant will be a money loosing operation from day one! Confronted with a situation where its customers will have lower production costs than they have.
    Either it will be closed very quickly, or the government will have to support it financially for many years. It will become a financial mill-stone around the neck of the Polish tax-payers!

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