Poland has some of the worst air quality in the European Union, and 2017 was marked by grassroot efforts to fight smog. It seems that the Polish government is slowly getting on board. Michał Olszewski asks: will Poland cut emissions in time, or will 2018 bring fines from the EU?
Nowhere in the EU is smog more suffocating than in southern Poland. This year, the polluted Polish mining city Katowice will host the COP24 climate conference. Ahead of that, change is in the air — and on the ground. Richard Fuchs takes a look.
The European Union’s energy policies have favored national providers and structures for too long. For Europe to re-connect and meet its Paris goals, the European Union must empower citizens to build cross-border local energy unions. Anna Leidreiter and Radostina Primova explain.
Polish politicians have been so focused on saving coal that they’ve gone up against the European Union, but Brussels is beginning to push back. Money from the EU’s modernization fund can no longer be used for coal-related investments. Still, writes Michał Olszewski, the country refuses to modernize its energy sector.
In Upper Silesia, Poland’s main coal region, it is difficult to find anyone who still believes that coal has a future. The region needs help in dealing with the environmental fallout from decades of a coal-centred economy and a platform to debate and define its destiny. Izabela Zygmunt explains.
Polish mining is in crisis, but its companies are acting like nothing’s wrong. They are even paying out miners their traditional Barbórka (St Barbara’s day) bonuses. Michał Olszewski finds that despite generous EU funding, Poland does not invest in the future of its energy system.
Climate change was again placed at the centre of global diplomacy as diplomats and ministers gathered in Bonn for the latest annual round of United Nations climate talks. COP23, the second “conference of the parties” since the Paris Agreement was struck, was a technical affair as countries continued to negotiate the finer details of how the agreement would work from 2020 onwards. Jocelyn Timperley of Carbon Brief covers the summit’s key outcomes.
Michał Olszewski has long written about the Polish conservative government trying (and failing) to bail out coal, and maintain energy independence. But these expensive and polluting practices could be coming to an end. Slowly but surely, the energy transition emerges in Poland.
Polish coal is losing value on the global market and Poland’s grid may see serious blackouts. But instead of investing in other forms of energy, the government dips into taxpayer pockets to try and save the mining and energy market, Michał Olszewski reveals.
The political changes in Poland have claimed ecology as another victim. For conservative politicians, ecology is just a dangerous whim and they would very happily spend the money allocated to it elsewhere. Michał Olszewski takes a critical look.