Departing from coal: Poland’s new energy roadmap

(EurActiv, 7 Mar 2024) The election of a new government in Poland has enabled the country to tackle its coal-dependent energy system and bring the country in line with EU climate change targets.

After 8 years in power, the far-right Law and Justice Party (PIS) lost in 2023 to the centre-right opposition. The new government, hoping to put the country on a green track, faces a major challenge.

“We have a very difficult canvas, a very difficult set of circumstances because we have barely scraped through the 2020 targets, including renewables target,” said Polish Secretary for State for Climate and Environment Krzysztof Bolesta, speaking at a Bloomberg conference in Brussels on 4 February.

Coal makes up 70% of the electricity produced in Poland, and almost half of the country’s households rely on it for heating. Coal mining remains an important economic factor in rural areas.

Though the official date for the complete phasing-out of coal is 2049, the introduction of renewable energy sources remains subject to administrative barriers.

As a result, despite accounting for just 8% of the bloc’s population, the country emits 12% of the EU’s CO2.  “We need to act everywhere” explains Bolesta.

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EurActiv, 7 Mar 2024: Departing from coal: Poland’s new energy roadmap