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HEAL in Poland in debate on health consequences of a coal-based economy

HEAL spoke about the negative health consequences of burning coal in a debate questioning if it is possible to live healthy in a coal-based economy.

The basis for the debate organised by the Institute of Sustainable Development in Poland, was the negative health consequences of a coal-based economy and the fact that they are not being taken into account when thinking about local and national developments in Poland.

HEAL’s coal and health adviser in Poland Łukasz Adamkiewicz (Middle of left photo) spoke alongside others including Michał Krzyżanowski PhD (King’s College London), Andrzej Jagusiewicz PhD (Chief Inspector for Environmental Protection), Maciek Bukowski PhD (Warsaw Institute of Economic Studies), Andrzej Kassenberg PhD (Institute of Sustainable Development) and Agaton Koziński (journalist) about the negative impact of air pollution coming from low emission sources (coal stoves, heating furnaces and transport). This also included the impact from coal fired power plants in Poland, analysing the possible ways to develop renewable energy and improve energy efficiency in Poland.

Łukasz Adamkiewicz focused on research based data on coal-related air pollution impact on human health. In Poland, air pollution from coal-fired power sector causes about 3 500 premature deaths and nearly 800 000 lost work days, as well as external health cost around PLN 34.32 billion (€ 8.2 billion) per year. Speakers of the debate agreed that improvement of the air quality in Poland and a shift toward renewable energy will bring relevant improvement of the public health in Poland.

The debate took place at the Institute of Sustainable Development, but was widely transmitted on-line, which at the same time allowed to lead an interesting discussion between the participants on a dedicated forum.

Originally posted on 21 October 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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