Poznan, Day 2:Greenpeace Climbers Ascend Polish Coal Chimney

posted by scott parkin

About 90 minutes from the site of COP14, a Greenpeace climb team ascended to the top of a smokestack in Konin, Poland.

Operating out of the Climate Rescue Station, 14 climbers have camped out at the top of a massive coal plants smokestacks and are demanding that world leaders “Quit Coal” and get serious about climate change.

Here’s an email from the climb team-

“I’ve stepped away from the UN climate talks and joined up with our climb team here in Poland to get a first-hand view of the biggest driver of climate change – coal. 14 of us climbed a smoke stack this morning at a massive coal power station 1.5 hours from Poznan, near the climate rescue station.

The sheer scale of the place is huge – trains bring coal in from the huge open mine next to the rescue station, and two of the five smoke stacks including the one we are on are burning it, belching a toxic stew of gases including the one posing the greatest threat to the planet – carbon dioxide.

The scale of this place mirrors the sheer scale of tackling climate change, especially in a place like Poland where more than 90% of electricity comes from coal. But if anyone doubts that solutions to climate change are possible, then the 17knot gusts of wind that are gently swaying the platform I am perched on should be enough evidence as to the power of wind. If only Poland would harness it.

At his opening speech at the UNFCCC negotiations yesterday Polish prime minister Donald Tusk played lip service to climate change, and recently committed some financial help for renewable energy. But this is far too little, and not the energy revolution we need to see. And meanwhile Mr. Tusk’s government continues to undermine EU efforts to put a strong package of climate measures in place. If he succeeds, then Europe will fail, UN climate talks in Poznan could falter, and catastrophic climate change will loom closer. We will stay up here for the next days until we get some clarity that Poland and the world is serious about climate change.

Gavin & the Greenpeace climb team