An anti-climate change activist addressed an estimated 50,000 Poles who had gathered Monday to celebrate Poland’s independence day in downtown Warsaw, just as the United Nations kicked off its climate conference in the same city.
David Rothbard, president of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, or CFACT, told the audience he was proud to stand with Polish activists in a “new battle for freedom against those who would use environmental and climate alarmism to steal away our liberties and give international bureaucrats control over our energy sources, our daily lives, our prosperity, and our national sovereignty.”
“Last year, the head of the climate conference said the goal of the United Nations was a complete economic transformation of the world,” Rothbard added. “That is what they desire, but it is not good news for those of us who love freedom. And it is not good news for the people of Poland.”
Rothbard’s address was carried live on national television and took place as the UN kicked off its climate negotiations. Polish officials have voiced concern about global warming, but the country’s reliance on coal power and its huge natural gas potential mean they are hesitant to act.
In fact, the Polish government is presiding over a coal industry event while the UN discusses ways to cut fossil fuel use worldwide. Coal accounts for 80 percent of the country’s electricity and supports 600,000 jobs throughout the country.
Poland has also opposed the European Union’s efforts to further cut carbon dioxide emissions from the already established goal of 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.
“Rich European nations are imposing short-term goals on us which they took some 50 years to achieve,” said Krzysztof Bosak, a member of Poland’s right-wing National Movement.
“It’s been seen as a real provocation and a statement from the Polish government that they have no intention to move away from coal,” said Wendel Trio, director of Europe’s Climate Action Network.
The UN’s climate chief Christiana Figueres was invited to be a keynote speaker at the event, but environmentalists have been urging her to decline the invitation to speak.
However, the World Coal Association (WCA) — who is co-hosting the coal summit — says it supports UN efforts to move the world towards a global climate agreement — they want to be part of the solution delegates come up with to stem global temperature rises.
“The WCA recognises that climate change is a global challenge, requiring a global solution. We acknowledge that there is an international consensus on the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the objectives of the UNFCCC, and that we need to work with all stakeholders — even those opposed to coal — to achieve a solution to the challenges posed by climate change,” said WCA’s chief executive Milton Catelin.
“The environmentalists and the bureaucrats, they don’t want to debate these issues because they know they are deceiving the world,” Rothbard told the large Polish crowd. “There hasn’t been any global warming in 15 years, and this is simply an excuse for more government oppression.”
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