COP24 Katowice

Zero waste coal power during COP23

“Emission reduction through zero waste coal power as an element of the Paris Agreement implementation” was the subject of one of the Polish side-events of the 23th UN Climate Conference. The presentation, which took place on the 14th of November 2017, featured Paweł Sałek, Vice-Minister of Environment and Government Plenipotentiary for Climate Policy.

Zero waste coal power during COP23


“Emission reduction through zero waste coal power as an element of the Paris Agreement implementation” was the subject of one of the Polish side-events of the 23th UN Climate Conference. The presentation, which took place on the 14th of November 2017, featured Paweł Sałek, Vice-Minister of Environment and Government Plenipotentiary for Climate Policy.

During COP23 in Bonn, Polish delegates with Vice-Minister of Environment Paweł Sałek presented the concept of introducing zero waste coal power, regarding minerals remaining after burning coal for power generation, which can be treated in order to become construction and infrastructure products at an early stage of their creation.   

During the event, Vice-Minister Paweł Sałek emphasised that:

“Coal is an important element of the economy and power generation. The ashes, which are formed as a result of burning coal can be successfully used for example in the construction industry. Something that is usually perceived as cost can help us preserve natural resources.”

“In total, the entire world produces approximately 1.2 billion tonnes of ashes every year.  By successfully using them in construction as cement may be a chance to prevent approximately 500 million tonnes in CO2 emissions”, said Tomasz Szczygielski of Warsaw University of Technology.

“Poland wants to be a leader in promoting such solutions. What is crucial here is a symbiosis between the mining industry with energy, infrastructure and construction sectors”, he added.

Zero waste coal power and circular economy

Zero waste coal power is not only part of climate policy, but also fits well with the idea of circular economy. Among other things, it envisions using the minerals resulting from the combustion processes in power generation as anthropogenic products. In this way, zero waste coal power complements Polish commitments in areas such as renewable energy, efficient energy use and limiting deforestation.

“It is better to use the ash instead of dumping it. We hope that our solution presented here in Bonn during COP23 will be met with great international interest”, Vice-Minister Sałek pointed out.

COP23 Conference


The 23th UN Climate Conference, or COP23, takes place in Bonn on 6-17 November. The goal of the Conference is achieving progress in shaping the rules and principles of implementing the Paris Agreement, which are to be adopted during COP24 in Katowice in December 2018. The Polish delegation to COP23 is led by Minister of Environment Jan Szyszko.

More information about COP23: cop23.unfccc.int

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