Poland’s Last Gasp

The Polish coal power plants making Poland and Europe sick

A new report from Europe Beyond Coal, Sandbag, Greenpeace, the European Environmental Bureau and CAN Europe, Last Gasp, launched on 20 November, used high-resolution atmospheric modelling to reveal how air pollution from each of the coal power stations in the EU is damaging public health.

The report shows that in 2016, the coal power plants of just ten companies are estimated to be responsible for two thirds of the health impact from coal across Europe, and cost society up to €22 billion. Plants located in Poland were responsible for an estimated 2,600 premature deaths, 1,100 new cases of chronic bronchitis and 42,400 asthma symptom days in children. This leads to an estimated 2,100 hospital admissions and over 775,000 lost working days.

Just three companies were responsible for approximately three-quarters of the health damage from Polish plants: PGE, ZE PAK & ENEA.

The modelling shows that the large cities of Łódź, Warsaw and Katowice and areas around these cities are the most affected by the country’s power plants. However, it's not only Polish citizens that suffer. Air pollution from Polish coal power plants travels thousands of kilometers - leaving millions of European citizens with degraded air quality and poorer health as a result. Over two thirds of the modelled health damage took place beyond Poland’s borders - with Germany, Ukraine and the Czech Republic particularly affected.

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