Poland Drags Feet on Climate Deal
EU member states have backed the European Commission’s ambitious plan to bring emissions to zero by 2050, with the exemption of Poland.
The so-called European Green Deal was endorsed by the European Council in a summit on December 12, just one day after its approval by the Commission.
“We want Europe as the first climate-neutral continent,” Council President Charles Michel said. But Poland “cannot commit to implement this objective,” he said, which the Council will discuss again in June 2020.
Poland relies on coal for 80% of its electricity, and the government has previously said it will still have a 60% share in 2030. By this year, the Green Deal calls for member states to slash their emissions by at least 50%.
The Czech Republic and Hungary were also initially against the deal, but came over after securing guarantees that nuclear power would be considered a means of reducing emissions.
“Nuclear energy is clean energy,” Czech prime minister Andrej Babis said ahead of the summit. “I don’t know why people have a problem with this.”
The deal also needs approval from the European Parliament. The Commission will then propose climate laws for its implementation.