Critics rage over Poland’s new coal power plants, silent on Germany’s

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Environmentalists in Poland seem to have different standards for Germany and Poland.

Germany may be an advocate of zero emissions, but that has not stopped plans to open another coal-fired power plant in the country. Despite Germany’s decision, there is no sign of environmental protests of the kind being experienced in Poland over the building of the new Ostrołęka power station.

Ostrołęka in the Mazowsze region of central Poland is the site of the newest coal-fired power station in the country.

Its construction has been met with controversy and campaigning from environmental groups who often praise Germany for systematically reducing its dependence on coal.

These protests have become increasingly visible with Poland’s state bank, PKO, being publically attacked. Activists are imitating its branding and likeness while using slogans against the financing of the construction of the power station.

Germany’s Datteln IV plant in the Ruhr (cover picture) is not being scrapped despite rumors that it would be. Authorities plan to attach it to Germany’s power grid in January, and it is expected to reach its capacity limit by the summer.

Germany has dozens of coal plants and some of the highest emissions of any country in the world.

Double standards?

The German power plant is to have a capacity of 1,100 megawatts and may already violate Germany’s clean air laws as soon as it goes online.

Environmental organizations in Poland campaigning against the plant in Ostrołęka have not expressed any view on the matter. Given the proximity of the plant to Poland and its impact on the environment, critics have raised questions about double-standards, with many asking whether German coal-fired power plants are more environment-friendly than Polish ones.

Germany has stated that it plans to shut all of its coal plants by 2038, but the plan will cost an estimated €40 billion, leading many critics to claim that Germany will have to take out billions in debt to pay for the phase-out.

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