President Andrzej Duda paid a visit to miners in lignite mine in Bogatynia, south-western Poland.
Mr Duda gave out awards to the miners, saying that they are a "symbol of recognition and great respect" for their work. The President said that the Bogatynia mine, which opened 72 years ago and extracted one billion tonnes of coal "has been building Poland's energy potential," and currently secures coal supplies used to power 2.3 million households.
President made remarks on the challenges facing Poland due to climate change. He said that energy transformation needed to protect the climate must be carried out with respect for working people and the quality of life. “Our industry and energy mix require changes," stated Duda.
The president said that the coal-power Turów power plant will be expanded with a new power-generating unit, based on low-emission coal, which will soon provide electricity to another million households.
Poland relies on coal for most of its electric energy production, with bituminous coal accounting for 49.1 percent of supply and lignite for 29.1 percent. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, coal power plants emit more CO2 per unit of energy produced than any other energy source.
The Miner’s Day, known as “Barbórka” or Saint Barbara Day, is celebrated in Poland on December 4.