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Green group slams 'coal summit' in Warsaw

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 18.11.2013 08:28
Greenpeace have protested against Poland holding a coal industry summit while the UN Climate Conference is under way in Warsaw.

Greenpeace unfurl anti-coal banner in Warsaw: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Greenpeace activists climbed onto the roof of the economy ministry in the Polish capital on Monday morning and unfurled a banner reading: "Who rules Poland?" in protest at the two-day International Coal and Climate Summit which begins today.

"It is outrageous that the World Coal Summit will take place at the beginning of the second week of the climate negotiations," Greenpeace said in an open letter addressed to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"We would not like events promoting the most polluting of industries to become associated with solving climate change," Greenpeace adds.

The coal summit, held at the Ministry of Economy, is being opened by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Janusz Piechociński.

Poland remains heavily dependant on coal for the majority of its energy needs and the Polish government has said that it is committed to 'clean coal' as part of its energy policy.

But Greenpeace says that the 'clean coal' technology is "a myth".

"While we recognize that the focus of the Coal and Climate Summit is so-called “clean coal”, in our view this ranks among the most desperate of myths spun by the coal industry in a frantic bid to survive," the environmental group says in its letter to the UN.

In 2012 Poland was the world's ninth-biggest coal producer.

Poland's environment minister Marcin Korolec has said that the coal summit is "one of hundreds of meetings being organized within the framework, or in parallel" to the UN Climate Conference.

"It is important to think about new technologies which are more environmentally friendly and less harmful to health," Minister Korolec told reporters.

As the UN Climate Conference (COP19) entered its second week, around 1000 demonstrators gathered in Warsaw on Saturday to call for world leaders to pledge further cuts to CO2 levels to slow down global warming. (pg)

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