Both countries are in the European Union, both have for years been known for their reliance on coal. But now their policies could not differ more: one is turning away from coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, while the other is enthusiastically developing it. At one end of the spectrum is Spain: it plans to close its last operating coal mine by the end of 2021. Not so long ago the country was heavily dependent on coal for its power: last year coal generated less than 5% of Spain’s electricity. At the other extreme is Poland. Despite EU-wide commitments to phase out the use of coal over the coming years, Poland is still opening new coal pits and coal-fired power plants. In recent days the government in Warsaw granted POLSKA PGE, the state-owned energy company, a permit to expand a lignite mine at Turów, on Poland’s borders with Germany and the Czech Republic. According to campaign groups, the permit was rushed through without an environmental impact assessment being completed and before an appeals process was allowed to start. Both Germany and the Czech Republic have protested about the mine.
Climate News Network 3rd Jan 2020 read more »