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Climate conference host Poland plans to open new coal mine

Clouds of smoke over Europe's largest lignite power plant in Belchatow, central Poland, on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. A group of Greenpeace environment activists have climbed its 180-meter smokestack to spur participants in next week's global climate summit in Poland into taking decisions on limiting the use of coal.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — U.N. climate conference host Poland is planning to open a new coal mine next year as demand for energy grows.

Deputy Energy Minister Grzegorz Tobiszowski told a news conference this week that a decision will probably be made next year to build a new coal mine. He gave no details.

A crucial two-week U.N. climate summit opens Sunday in Poland’s mining city of Katowice that should agree on a rule book for curbing global warming, which is partly due to the use of coal.

Tobiszowski previously told The Associated Press that Poland’s growing economy and foreign investment are calling for more energy than renewable sources and gas are capable of supplying.

Poland has coal in abundance and it now supplies 80 percent of the country’s energy needs, but it is one of the most polluting energy sources.

The Jastrzebie Coal Company, in the south, announced earlier this year that it is planning to add a new shaft in its extraction area at Bzie-Debina and is also in talks with the Australian coal developer Prairie Mining Limited over its permit to use seams in Debiensko.

The European Union’s executive body, however, proposed this week that the 28-nation bloc should cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. That means that any greenhouse gases emitted need to be soaked up by forest growth or by new technologies that can remove carbon from the atmosphere.

According to plan by Poland’s Energy Ministry, the use of coal in Poland’s energy mix should drop to under 30 percent in 2040, when Poland’s first nuclear power plant should become a major energy provider.

Without nuclear energy, Poland’s expanding economy risks being 25 percent short of power in 2040, Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski has said.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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