EGEB: Poland’s largest utility wants to dump coal

  • Poland’s largest utility, PGE, announces it wants to get rid of coal and become net zero by 2050.
  • EU environment ministers will make the EU’s pledge to reach net zero by 2050 legally binding.
  • 66% of US voters said they support Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and Americans’ bank accounts — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card — *ad.

Poland’s coal pivot

Poland’s largest utility, PGE, which is majority state-owned, wants to get rid of its coal assets, which makes up more than 80% of its electricity generation. It also wants to reach net zero by 2050. Its plans are dependent on the Polish government agreeing to manage the firm’s coal assets and the European Commission approving state aid.

Analysts, however, have expressed that PGE should take responsibility for closing down its coal assets, not pass them to another arm of the state, according to Climate Change News.

PGE president Wojciech Dąbrowski reportedly said, according to an energy analyst at Polityka Insight via Twitter, that if PGE does not separate its coal assets, it will have to declare bankruptcy in 1.5 years.

PGE is aiming to generate 50% of its electricity from green energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Poland, the EU’s largest hard coal producer, has said the European Union’s emissions trading system (ETS) should redirect more revenues to poorer countries (e.g., Poland) needing support to cut emissions. More than 70% of Poland’s electricity comes from coal. The EU’s environment ministers will be meeting on Friday to discuss the ETS revamp.

You can read Electrek‘s take from September on why Poland is giving up its coal habit here.

EU’s net zero by 2050

Continuing with the topic of the EU environment ministers’ meeting on Friday, the ministers will then agree to make the EU’s pledge to be net zero by 2050 legally binding.

They would then start negotiations with European Parliament, which must approve it. Reuters explains:

A draft proposal for the law, as a basis for Friday’s talks, would set the 2050 net zero emissions target as a goal for the EU as a whole, rather than for individual countries, potentially letting some have higher emissions if others make deeper cuts.

Parliament also wants an independent scientific council to advise the EU on climate policy, and a carbon budget to set out the total emissions Europe could emit in future, proposals excluded from the draft.

Biden’s climate plan and voters

A survey conducted by the New York Times and Sienna College on Tuesday found that 66% of voters polled said they support Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan. The poll was conducted between October 15 and 18, and has a 3.4% margin of error.

Biden’s plan includes reaching net zero by 2050, and the electric sector reaching net zero by 2035.

Donald Trump has not released a formal climate plan, so the poll did not cover his position on climate change.

Biden’s plan does not call for a ban on fracking, but would ban new oil drilling of public lands. Here’s a short video from Brain Stuff — How Stuff Works that explains what fracking is, and why it’s controversial:

When it came to fracking, polled voters were split. The Hill reports:

44% of those polled said they support the method of oil extraction, while 42% said they are opposed and 14% were neutral.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.