This workshop, kindly hosted by MEP Ondřej Knotek in the European Parliament was organised by EURACOAL to promote the EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS). Given the interest of MEPs in the proposed Methane Regulation (COM/2021/805), projects to manage coal mine methane were presented by experts in this field from industry and academia. The European Commission was represented in person by Jane Amilhat, Head of Unit – Low Emission Future Industries at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and Sebastiano Fumero, Head of Unit responsible for implementing the RFCS research programme. Participants were also honoured to be joined by MEP Ondřej Kovařík and MEP Martina Dlabajová. Continue reading RFCS workshop, European Parliament, 23 May 2023
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EURACOAL opinion on the proposed methane regulation
The European Parliament’s work on the proposed Methane Regulation temporarily stalled following revelations that a US-funded green NGO prepared the internal documents used by one of the responsible rapporteurs during negotiations. With the file now progressing again, albeit without one of the original co-rapporteurs, EURACOAL offers its opinion on the regulation. Continue reading EURACOAL opinion on the proposed methane regulation
Shining a light on the European Green Deal
On 22 March, EURACOAL participated in the VII Silesia 2030 conference, hosted by MEP Grzegorz Tobiszowski in the European Parliament, Brussels. The event, chaired by Tomasz Zjawiony, President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice, examined the growing global demand for critical raw materials (CRMs) and rare earth elements (REEs). These are essential inputs to build the component parts of a clean energy system, as envisaged by the European Green Deal, but their supply is often concentrated in the hands of just a few, non-EU producers, notably China, and with only around 1% recycled.
To phase out coal, roll out renewables!
On Monday, 23 January 2023, EURACOAL organised an energy lunch in Brussels. Outgoing EURACOAL President, Ing. Vladimír Budinský, welcomed invited guests to hear presentations from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and RWE.
Members of the European Parliament, colleagues from industry, the media and the European Commission discussed with EURACOAL members the current energy crisis. Carlos Fernández Alvarez presented the IEA’s coal market outlook to 2025, as well as the agency’s views on coal in net-zero transitions. Continue reading To phase out coal, roll out renewables!
RFCS Coal Summit 2022, Brussels
On 22 March, EURACOAL members joined Commission officials and other stakeholders at a summit meeting in Brussels to launch the first “Big-Ticket” call under the recently modernised EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS). The RFCS was established in 2002 after the fifty-year treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) expired. At the coal day, there was a broad discussion on technologies and their role in a “just transition”, but also on energy security. During the preceding steel day, emphasis was put on the green transition, with discussions on how to curb emissions in the steel sector, the need for digitalisation and the rollout of hydrogen in steel production. This 20th anniversary celebration was web-streamed.
End the war!
On Monday, 7 March 2022, the Polish Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GIPH) celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice with an awards ceremony and concert. The Vice Minister of State Assets and government plenipotentiary for energy and mining transformation, Piotr Pyzik, joined MEPs, members of the Sejm, officials and representatives from science and industry, as well as the President of EURACOAL, Vladimír Budinský. The concert was overshadowed by events in Ukraine where Russian aggressors have created a humanitarian crisis that Poland especially is responding to with great compassion.
Mr. Budinský delivered his speech in Polish (English translation below): Continue reading End the war!
EURACOAL on the war in Ukraine
Dear EURACOAL members,
The hashtag #StandWithUkraine expresses our feelings, but what can we as individuals actually do to help the people of Ukraine in this time of deep crisis in Europe? Colleagues working for DTEK, our member in Ukraine, are on the front line, working with the army to ensure critical infrastructure is operational. To secure Ukraine’s electricity supply, ENTSO-E must urgently synchronise the now isolated Ukrainian power system with the EU system. Continue reading EURACOAL on the war in Ukraine
EURACOAL responds to the Commission’s package of legislative proposals
On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and so revolutionise the economy and society for a fairer, greener and more prosperous future. Known as the “Fit-for-55” package, it aims to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. Europe would then be on the way to becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 – making the European Green Deal a reality.
Today, EURACOAL responds to this important package of legislative proposals which will have a dramatic impact on coal production and use across the EU: Continue reading EURACOAL responds to the Commission’s package of legislative proposals
The future of coal regions depends on joint efforts
On 13 July 2021, the ІV International Coal Conference “Coal regions of Ukraine: just transition and coal mining – Ukrainian and international experience” took place at Academy DTEK in Kyiv. More than two hundred experts from Ukraine and EU countries discussed the coal industry transition. Representatives of the Ukrainian government and large businesses, leaders of trade unions and directors of regional authorities joined thematic sessions on:
- Achieving carbon neutrality and leveraging opportunities for coal communities
- Coal mining in the context of the green energy transition, and
- Just transition for the coal regions – possibilities for economic diversification of mono-towns.
Continue reading The future of coal regions depends on joint efforts
On the order of the Court of Justice to suspend lignite mining at Turów opencast mine
EURACOAL notes the decision taken by the Vice-President of the Court of Justice of the European Union to order, as an interim measure, the suspension of lignite extraction at Turów mine in Poland – a surface mine established in 1904 which today lies close to the Czech and German borders. Continue reading On the order of the Court of Justice to suspend lignite mining at Turów opencast mine
EURACOAL proposes measures to encourage methane capture and use
The EU Methane Strategy, published by the European Commission in October 2020, covers several areas of human activity.
For the energy sector, the focus is on fugitive emissions from oil and gas production, supply infrastructure and end use, rather than from coal mining. In light of the international nature of emissions from EU energy-supply chains, this is the right approach and the strategy should be used as a tool in climate diplomacy. In the case of methane from coal mines, EURACOAL highlights in a new position paper several actions at the EU level that would further encourage the mitigation of this methane, turning an environmental issue into a clean energy resource. Continue reading EURACOAL proposes measures to encourage methane capture and use
On the unintended consequences of the Aarhus Regulation
EURACOAL submitted its position paper with a letter to the European Commission in which we warn against measures that risk slowing new investment in clean technologies. Current proposals to revise the “Aarhus Regulation” would delay transformation of the EU energy sector as interest groups seek to challenge new developments of all types. Why? Because every project could be argued to have a climate impact, and any NGO could claim to represent the environment.
EURACOAL supports equal access to justice. However, access should only be granted to those directly affected. Extending justice to all under climate law risks opening a Pandora’s box whereby literally anyone can claim harm caused by others.
Secure planning procedures
To transform the EU energy sector and economy, we need faster investment procedures, not slower ones. EURACOAL has urged the European Commission to begin a process to renegotiate the UNECE Aarhus Convention at the international level, so that a better balance can be found between access to justice and a secure planning framework for clean-tech investments.
photo: Isbjerget as seen from the high speed ferry Århus-Sjællands Odde on the way out of the harbour in Århus, Denmark (© Slaunger / Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-SA-3.0)