Poland will fully phase out coal production by 2049. The country’s government and unions came to an agreement with the coal mining industry to close all coal mines by the target date.
The “historic” agreement, which will be signed next month, is the first of it’s kind where a “leading coal mining sector has agreed to reduce its presence,” Mining Technology reported.
According to the unions, the Polish government “pledged to increase miners’ wages and has planned major investment in clean coal technologies to ensure 10 million tons per year of demand for local coal over the next 10 years.”
“It is hard to be satisfied when you are liquidating such an important industry,” Dominik Kolorz, head of a local branch of the Solidarity union, said in the Polish daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza. “We did what we needed to do, which was to assist the workers. “It’s not like everything ends today. We have a lot of work to do to create alternative jobs.”
The country currently uses coal for 70 percent of its energy needs and plans to reduce its dependency to 11 percent by 2040 before it will be required to cease coal use entirely by the EU deadline of 2050.
But environmental organizations said the deadline to phase out coal is too far in the future and that Poland’s commitment should come sooner.