Poland’s last two coal mines will cease operations in 2049, according to an agreement reached by the country’s powerful mining unions and the right-wing populist government led by Law and Justice (PiS) on September 26.
Poland relies on hard coal and lignite to generate some three-quarters of its electricity. Demand for coal has been in decline, however, primarily because of the European Union’s climate policy that has steadily deteriorated the economics of mining the commodity for burning in power plants.
But restructuring the loss-making sector has long been politically difficult in Poland with successive governments wary of the powerful mining unions representing tens of thousands of miners, all potential voters. Continue Reading →