Poland will shut down all its coal mines by 2049. The government agreed to this with the unions in a “historic” agreement. The 120,000 miners are entitled to termination compensation and the money is released to the mining region of Silesia.
The issue is very sensitive in Poland, where politicians fear the loss of miners’ votes. The agreement has not yet become official. Permission must also be obtained from the European Commission, which must assess whether state aid is warranted.
The European Union wants to close all EU coal mines by 2050 due to the negative impacts on the climate. Member states have agreed to be climate neutral, but there is a lot of opposition in Poland, partly due to the consequences for employment. The European Union has created a fund for this.
Poland currently depends on coal for more than 70 percent of its energy needs. The country already had plans to reduce that percentage to 11 percent by 2040. Ten years later, mining was over. Environmental groups are urging the government to speed up the matter and end one of the largest sources of pollution in Europe as soon as possible.
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