Friday, 18 October 2013

Adam Ostolski: Miners and Greens, unite!

In November 2013, we shall witness another climate conference (COP) – this time in Warsaw. It’s not hard to see the plan of Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk: it’s stopping the possibility of a global agreement that would force Poland to switch to renewable energy sources. Is there a chance that we can stop this? Yes, but only if we create a broad alliance against neoliberalism and for a just energy transition. In this endeavour, a crucial partner for ecologists could be miners.

Climate policy is the one policy area in which Donald Tusk’s right-wing government is impeccably consistent. Poland vetoed plans for a more ambitious climate policy of the European Union, is hesitant to implement the EU legislation on green energy or energy efficiency, and hampers global agreements regarding this issue. Talking climate to the Polish government is a Sisyphean task.

There is a good side to this – ecological circles seem to now understand that there is no use in trying to make the government change its mind. In effect they are starting talks with the miners. One striking example was a conference held in March 2012, called Black-Green Round Table, organised by Zielony Instytut (Green Institute) and the Trade Union of Miners in Poland (ZZG). Experts from both sides talked about Poland’s climate policy – a discussion which achieved some common points.

[read the full article in the Green European Journal]

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