Yesterday at the UN Climate talks, Young Friends of the Earth Europe took part in a number of actions to highlight that coal can play no role if we seriously want to stop climate change. The actions took place to coincide with the launch of the People's Declaration on Coal, and in response to the failures of governments at the talks to listen to people's concerns, over the demands and pressure of the fossil fuel industry. As the Philippines faces the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, activists there are calling for climate justice, a transition to clean energy and a ban on all new coal power projects.
A great run down of all the actions and pictures from the day has been blogged by Emma from Push Europe. Our Young FoEE member Aneta Stefanova from Bulgaria also shares her reasons for why we need to move away from coal.
Written by Aneta Stefanova, Friends of the Earth Bulgaria
Old decisions belong to the ancient times. Now we live in the 21st century and need alternatives. We urgently need change. Actually we are the change. We don't want more pollution, we don't want more death. We are young and want to live. We desire breathing oxygen, not poisonous particles. Let our world be greener, not greyer.
There's no such thing as clean coal. Coal is black – it makes your hands dirty. This is a fact and nobody can controvert it. Please, don't make our atmosphere dirty. Keep coal in the ground. We are young - don't kill our future. Don't destroy the future of the Earth. Keep our home clean. It's yours too.
Climate change is already happening. It's not a myth, unlike the claim that coal is cheap. Coal costs people's lives, it costs our health. The results from using this fossil fuel are asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes. Nobody wants these for their children, right?
Studies show that coal-related pollution caused between 80 000 and 115 000 premature deaths and more than 20 million asthma attacks in 2011-2012 in India alone. But India is not alone. Can you imagine how these numbers increase when it comes to the whole world?
But the saddest fact is that coal use has actually increased - coal consumption in Europe has increased by 3% in 2012 compared to 2011. (mainly caused by Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany.) It's time for change. Coal needs to change. Happily there are other options - climate-friendly options. Let's switch to wind and sun. It's time for renewable energy solutions. It's time to give the future a chance.