Poland’s climate neutrality pledge – delayed once again?

Sallie Anderson

Last December, EU leaders reached arrangement on attaining climate-neutrality by 2050 – however approved Poland an exemption, with a dedication that Warsaw go back to the concern at the top in June 2020.

Nevertheless, the public health crisis and the recession activated by the coronavirus has actually delayed this conversation – and even more complex matters.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, discussions on climate issues have been postponed – but Poland continues to act to reach its climate objectives and modernise its energy system,” Polish federal government sources informed EUobserver on Thursday (18 June).

Nevertheless, civil society organisations stated that absence of dedication of one member state may position a danger to the entire EU’s trustworthiness – specifically in international conversations where the EU intends to lead global action.

“Lack of commitment from Poland is a factor that weakens EU credibility on the international climate policy arena,” stated Urszula Stefanowicz, a climate specialist from the NGO Polish Ecological Club Mazovian Branch.

Additionally, the truth that the EU is still thinking about funding with taxpayers money nonrenewable fuel sources is similarly harmful for the EU trustworthiness, according to a lot of ecological activists.

Polish mine tasks

Throughout the Covid-19 associated and pandemic lockdown, the federal government closed mines, leaving many individuals without a task – which has actually now put the Polish federal government in a hard circumstance ahead of the national elections.

At That Time, some political leaders and specialists argued that the decision was taken far too late to manage the spread of the illness, while others stated it was unneeded totally.

This is why Stefanowicz argues that Poland is not likely to make any public statements in this week’s top.

“For the government, it is not the time to say that Poland will have to speed up the process of closing mines as a result of accepting EU policies, which they had previously called overly-restrictive and dangerous for the Polish job market,” she stated.

“The only way to push the Polish government is through additional finance,” sheadded


Timmermans hazard

The European Commission’s proposition for the recovery increases 5- fold the resources of the Simply Shift Fund, which intends to support nonrenewable fuel source- reliant areas – bringing the overall to EUR40 bn.

Poland would get the biggest financing- piece of this money, and the nation’s coal- reliant areas might get about EUR8bn, according to Poland’s climate minister Michal Kurtyka.

Nevertheless, the commissioner in charge of the Green Offer, Frans Timmermans, cautioned last month that the allowance of EU funds may be anchored to specific requirements – such as the dedication to the Green Offer targets.

“If a country does not commit to the EU’s 2030 or 2050 targets, there should be consequences for the allocations as well,” he stated.

According to Polish EU sources, Warsaw will add to attaining a climate- neutral EU by 2050, in spite of the absence of ‘official dedication’.

“Poland is mobilising enormous investments to do it and at the same time is taking into consideration the needs of the most vulnerable social groups. That is why we do not see any need to implement any conditions to the Just Transition Fund,” they stated.

“A just transition cannot be based on conditionality but inclusiveness,” they added

On the other hand, casual talks connected to climate policy are currently happening – although the 2050 climate-neutrality target is not as pertinent as increasing the target for 2030.

The mayors of Warsaw, Budapest, Prague and Bratislava just recently got in touch with the European Union to set a more enthusiastic emissions decrease target for 2030.

The heads of the four capitals sent a letter on Wednesday to the European Council president Charles Michel and EU leaders prompting to improve the existing 40 percent emission decrease target to 55 percent by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels).

“The joint crises of the coronavirus and global warming creates an unprecedented test of concerted action for the EU,” checks out the letter, which comes ahead of the EU top on Friday (19 June) in which EU leaders will go over the EU’s recovery strategy and long- term budget.

“We have great hopes and expectations for the recovery plans. However, these recovery measures must not lose sight of the escalating climate crisis, a challenge even greater than the coronavirus,” the mayors added.

Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who belongs to Poland’s most significant opposition party, Civic Platform, is running for the governmental election set for 28 June.

Later on this year, the commission will provide an effect evaluation to increase the emission decrease target to a minimum of 50 percent and towards 55 percent.

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