A cargo of coal has been prevented from being unloaded at Poland's port of Gdansk by iconic Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior, as activists have been demanding authorities end coal use for decades, AFP reported on Monday, September 9th.
According to Pawel Szypulski, programme director of Greenpeace Polska, expressed that Poland has to abandon burning coal by 2030, in reference to the target date for the phasing out of coal use in the European Union under the 2015 Paris climate treaty, citing the pledge it gave to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 per cent below 19 90 levels by the target year.
Greenpeace activists also painted "stop coal" in large white letters on the side of the cargo vessel carrying the shipment of coal from Mozambique.
In a follow-up statement, Szypulski noted that instead of caring for the safety of Poles and the Polish national interest, the Polish government is defending the interests of the coal lobby and importers of foreign fuels.
Szypulski added that the climate crisis is happening here and now, pointing to a summer drought that has cost the Polish agricultural sector over one billion zloty (231 million euros, $255 million) in losses.
Poland's right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) government plans only a gradual reduction in dependence on coal for electricity production, from around 80 per cent today to 60 per cent in 2030. Along with Hungary, they have rejected an EU bid for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, insisting this would hamper their economies.
Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to propose a "green deal" for Europe in her first 100 days in office, which would see a carbon-neutral continent by 2050, according to AFP.