Polish Workers Protest EU’s Anti-Coal Policy, Say It’s Responsible for Soaring Energy Prices

Members of the energy sector trade unions take part in a protest outside the European Union's office in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. A group of angry trade union leaders of Poland's energy sector protested before the European Union's office in Warsaw on Saturday saying EU anti-coal policy was …
AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Trade union members from Poland’s energy sector have protested before the European Union’s office in Warsaw, saying the EU’s moves to discourage coal use are responsible for soaring energy prices.

Some 200 power plant and coal mine workers from across Poland blew horns and waved union flags as they chanted. The protest’s motto was “YES for Poland’s Energy Sovereignty. NO to High Energy and Heat Prices.”

Trade union leaders say the EU energy policies will harm Poland’s economy. The coal industry is a major employer in Poland, which gets more than half of its electricity from black and brown coal.

A government energy policy plan calls for increasing reliance on nuclear energy once the infrastructure is built.

Like other EU member nations, Poland has pledged to phase out coal use and to develop wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. At the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow this week, the government said it would not be able to close all coal-fired plants until 2049, a target that disappointed activists.

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