Greenpeace activists protesting in front of the Ministry of Energy

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Greenpeace environmental activists demand a clear date and a realistic plan to eliminate coal from the energy mix, the 7 Greenpeace activists who formed a blockade in front of the Ministry of Energy on Tuesday displaying banners with the messages “People have a future, coal does not” and “Renewable energy, not coal.”

The messages were addressed to the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu and the decision makers of the institution, who, in the opinion of the environmental organization, “refuse to accelerate the green energy transition in Romania, while illegally granting generous amounts of public money to coal subsidies.”

The activists intended to remain in position until the end of the Ministry’s work program, and in the next period will continue to send the same messages to the Minister, in various ways, until he prioritizes renewable energy, the organization said. The Tuesday action ended, however, after the intervention of the gendarmes.

Romania is among the last countries in Europe that have not announced a clear date for the abandonment of coal, does not have a realistic plan to eliminate this fossil fuel from the national energy mix or to replace it with new renewable energy capacities – Greenpeace says.

The Romanian government, on March 31, decided to illegally grant a grant of 241.4 million euro to the Oltenia Energy Complex for the payment of emission certificates.

“The Minister of Energy is stubborn to remain anchored in the past. We have come here to convey very clearly to Mr. Virgil Popescu that we do not want Romania to be at the back of the energy transition. We demand that renewable energy be prioritized over the burning of fossil fuels. It is inadmissible that the Romanian Government has been allocating hundreds of millions of euros from the pockets of Romanians for years for a dirty industry, which has been killing us for days and which has taken us to the brink of collapse. The money should go to the sustainable development of mining regions, with a focus on economic alternatives, green energy, energy efficiency. And the Ministry of Energy and the Government to support the counties of Gorj and Hunedoara to access European money to create new jobs,” said Vlad Cătună, Greenpeace Romania campaigner.

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