We, undersigned representatives of associations, social organizations, local governments, civil initiatives and individuals have decided to form the International Coalition „YES to Development – NO to Opencast mines” to prevent building new opencast lignite mines in Europe and to reduce negative effects of existing mines and lignite power plants, and to drive transformation of European countries from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
As a matter of fact, mines and power plants based on lignite combustion have negative impact on the environment and endanger human and animal health. Lignite energy technology will be gradually removed from the market as a consequence of necessary environmental regulation and growing public opposition. Twenty-first century is the century of renewable resources. Therefore countries which do not modernize their energy sector on time will suffer significant economic loss and will risk irreversible effects on citizens’ health.
Today, the European Union states and many other developed countries implement policies aiming to reduce, and finally eliminate fossil fuels, focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. This strategy is the only real alternative that can provide employment, create technological innovation, protect local environment and global climate.
The Coalition „YES to Development – NO to Opencast Mines” is an international agreement of activists respecting the principles of sustainable development, environmental protection and fundamental human rights.
The main objectives of the International Coalition „YES to Development – NO to Opencast Mines” are:
- Co-operation of international organizations and institutions which work in the field of lignite issues, sustainable development, renewable energy and climate protection
- Common, coordinated opposition to plans of new opencast lignite mines and common work to reduce the impact of existing mines and lignite power plants
- Exchange of experience and creation of a multilateral forum to discuss issues of energy sector transformation and coal industry
- Dialogue for renewable energy and transition to low-carbon and low-emission economy and for „green” employment related to all sectors of energy
- Improvement of countries’ energy security by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as introduction of alternative, non-invasive forms of natural resources management
- Support for all initiatives aimed at social development in harmony with nature and preservation of natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations, as well as respect for human and civil rights