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

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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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