coal Eniday Europe

Coal and the religious Pole

By Nicholas Newman on October 15, 2015 Eniday

A dirty coalminer displays a lump of coal as a power and energy source.
A dirty coalminer displays a lump of coal as a power and energy source.

Coal and the Catholic Church are two of the most powerful institutions in Poland but Pope Francis has put them into conflict with each other. The pontiff’s environmental message that coal “must be progressively and without delay replaced” is causing deep worry in the country, which boasts Europe’s largest coal sector and one of its most religious populations… In mid-June this year, the Pope appeared to put another nail in the coffin of Poland’s troubled coal industry with his papal encyclical on climate change, which stated that coal “needs to be progressively replaced without delay.” How this message will be received by a predominantly Catholic country so reliant upon coal remains to be seen. However, as Wojciech Kość, Editor in Chief of Cleantech (Poland) explains, Poland’s decision makers, miners and the Polish church, “might not like it, but he (Pope Francis) is seen as separate from domestic Polish energy politics.”

This was clearly demonstrated in the summer when the government, which faces national elections on October 25, also faced miners taking action to rescue loss-making coal mines amid the apparent neutrality of the Church. Kość, a long-time advocate for clean energy, says, “The trouble is, there is not a good understanding between the Polish public, government decision makers and the Church into the necessity for climate change measures.”

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  1. Pingback: Coal and the religious Pole – Nicholas Newman | – Oxford News

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