Poland’s region of Eastern Wielkopolska is the first Polish member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), a coalition of over 120 countries, local governments and companies working to accelerate the transition from unabated coal power generation.
Eastern Wielkopolska is a major lignite mining region, hosting two coal-fired power stations with a total capacity of over 1 gigawatt (GW) and employing around 4,000 people. As a member of the Alliance, the region will be able to share its experience in implementing an ambitious energy transition plan with others across the world. It aims to end the use of coal in the energy and heating sectors by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2040, while creating alternative jobs thanks to the support of, among others, the EU Just Transition Fund.
“A rapid exit from coal will be a real revolution for our region, but also an opportunity to improve people’s quality of life,” said Maciej Sytek, President of the Board of Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego in Konin and the Representative of the Board of the Wielkopolska Region for Restructuring of Eastern Wielkopolska. “Through our membership in the Powering Past Coal Alliance, we will share experience and work together with national and local governments and companies from around the world to make the best use of the subregion’s development potential brought about by the energy transition.”
“The need to protect the environment means that coal is becoming a fuel of the past,” added Piotr Korytkowski, Mayor of Konin, the subregion’s main city. “We need a new, modern development pathway based on electromobility and renewable energy while creating jobs for those who will lose them as a result of the gradual closure of coal mines and power plants. Membership in the Powering Past Coal Alliance is another step that will help us safely guide our subregion through the upcoming transformation and strengthen our influence on the measures adopted by the national government.”
The PPCA is the world’s first international initiative aimed to protect the climate and accelerate economic development by rapidly moving away from coal-fired power generation. It currently consists of 36 governments, 39 local governments and 51 companies and organisations from around the world that have pledged to move away from coal by 2030 in developed countries and by 2050 in the rest of the world.
Earlier in March, also Hungary joined the PPCA after announcing its commitment to phasing out coal by 2030.