Poland resists EU push for deeper CO2 emission cuts

Zeran thermal power station in Warsaw, file pic Poland is rich in coal and does not want to import more Russian gas to generate electricity

Related Stories

Poland has signalled its opposition to an EU plan for deeper carbon emission cuts, which environment ministers will discuss on Friday.

Denmark, currently steering EU negotiations, is backed by the UK in calling for a 25% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020. Previously the target was 20%.

But Poland, reliant on coal for more than 90% of its electric power, fears the move would make energy more costly.

Coal and other fossil fuels emit CO2, seen as a catalyst for climate change.

Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper says that "tomorrow Poland is ready to veto the EU plan to reduce CO2 emissions".

Poland's Environment Minister Marcin Korolec has sent a letter to his EU colleagues urging them to reject the 25% target, the Financial Times newspaper reports.

"There is no point whatsoever in gambling with the European economy's future, introducing policies that might put our industries in jeopardy versus our competitors," he was quoted as saying.

The Polish government fears the cost of having to convert or close its coal-fired power stations, which provide cheap electricity for industry.

Last June the EU's efforts to toughen CO2 emissions targets were blocked by Poland acting alone.

This time Poland's position is supported by the Czech Republic, Romania and one of the Baltic countries, Gazeta Wyborcza reports.

EU's green ambitions

The EU's new climate ambitions are contained in a European Commission Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050.

It says the most cost-efficient way of moving to a low-carbon economy is by achieving a 40% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 and a 25% cut by 2020, compared with 1990 emission levels.

The overall target is an 80% cut by 2050, based on the "greening" of industry, investment in energy-efficient electric cars and housing, renewable energy and modernised, "smart" electricity grids.

In a statement to the BBC the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said the 25% cut would actually mean 30% "when you factor in international carbon credits/offsetting".

A department spokesman said "we strongly support the findings in the roadmap.

"It shows that the current target in 2020 is simply not cost-effective.

"The first step is that the ministers attending the [EU] Environment Council must reach conclusions on the roadmap. Poland previously blocked this in June 2011 but we remain hopeful that progress can be made.

"Moving to a higher target will bring other benefits such as reducing our dependence on imported energy, stimulating jobs and growth in green sectors, and delivering health benefits from reduced pollution."

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • An ant and a humanAnts v humans

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Indian coupleSuspicious spouses

    Is your sweetheart playing away? Call Delhi's wedding detective


  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during gun battles manage to flee  from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, 21 September 2013Westgate's questions

    One year on, Kenyans await answers about the mall attack


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • StudentsClick Watch

    Could a new social network help tailor lessons to students’ needs and spot when they fall behind?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.