Polish coal production expands despite environmental warnings

  • Saturday 08, December 2018 in 2:19 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: The European Union's largest coking coal producer, Poland's JSW could increase output by between 2.5 and 3 million tonnes per year by acquiring assets, far exceeding its current plan to grow production to 18 million tonnes by 2030 from roughly 15 million now.
Poland's ambitions to invest in coal have stirred outrage at United Nations climate talks taking place in Katowice, around 50 kilometres from JSW's Silesian offices at Jastrzebie-Zdroj.
JSW, or Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa which is a sponsor of the talks, says coking coal, used in steel, is distinct from thermal coal for power generation, has a long future and is on the European Union's list of strategic minerals.
Scientists gathered for the COP24 talks said coking coal is harmful to the environment and any coal-based solution would still put CO2 in the atmosphere and pollute the air.
Co-author of the Global Carbon Project report, Corrine Le Quere, said cleaner coal was still a coal and should be replaced by much cleaner energy.
JSW said the company was lowering emissions by investing in solar energy and converting methane, produced by coal mining and a potent greenhouse gas, into energy. That would also cut its fuel bills as Polish electricity costs rise rapidly, in part because of higher carbon prices.