If your goal is to ditch coal, you have to win your workforce’s ...


If your goal is to ditch coal, you have to win your workforce’s soul

Interest in solar energy is growing in coal-dependent parts of Europe, but switch from fossil fuels is challenging

Laurie Goering

Close to 90% of Poland’s energy comes from highly polluting coal — a fuel whose use needs to end swiftly if Europe and the rest of the world are to meet global goals to slash planet-heating emissions and avoid more extreme climate change impacts.

But Poland also has 90,000 people employed in its coal industry, making a rapid switch to greener fuels challenging in social as well as financial and technological terms.

In Poland — and wealthier European countries such as Germany — the need to move away from coal is affecting large geographical areas, said Patrizia Kraft, energy policy coordinator for the German Trade Union Confederation...

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