COP19: Poland Left Out In The “Coal”

Poland wins Fossil of the Day Award: Photo by David TongPoland wins Fossil of the Day Award: Photo by David TongMonday’s prize-giving of the esteemed Fossil of the Day award started with an awkward misunderstanding when Poland was presented the ‘Coal Award’ for their brand new energy source: ‘clean coal’ which is “the cleanest, the greenest, [and] the best.”

That proved to be a huge mix-up: Poland was in reality being awarded the Fossil of the Day by the Climate Action Network for “undermining our chances to stay below a two degree global temperature increase by aggressively promoting coal.” Remember, coal is the largest contributor to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

This flies in the face of a joint statement from the Polish Ministry of Economy and the World Coal Association: “there is a misconception that the use of coal is incompatible with meeting the challenge of climate change.”

This point of view was further promoted today when the Polish government hosted World Coal Association’s annual summit. A paradoxical event to conduct amidst the ongoing UN climate change talks. The stark contrast is not one that has gone unnoticed or uncriticised.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres quick-wittedly called for: ”coal in the hole, oil in the soil.” A point of view which was backed on the COP’s opening plenary by scientist Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when he put forward the results of the Fifth Assessment Report.

Poland is one of the few countries that still believes that coal indeed is the energy source of tomorrow.


By Jeppe Fischer, photo by David Tong.

The original of this story is from The Verb. Reproduced with permission. The Verb is a newswire service focusing on the stories that matter. They are currently reporting from COP19. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.