Poland, Czech Republic block EU policy on climate-neutral Europe by 2050

Poland and the Czech Republic blocked the EU’s policy on making Europe climate-neutral by 2050 during the EU’s Thursday summit, opposing the provision under which the EU economy would have to remove as much CO2 as it emits by 2050.

This provision was missing from previous versions of the policy that had been discussed for weeks as part of the EU strategic agenda – a general outline of the EU’s 5-year action plan.

Poland is concerned that toughening the already ambitious climate policy would be harmful to member states which have a coal-based economy – like Poland. Moreover, the provision might enforce a change in CO2-reduction benchmarks that have already been set.

Poland’s diplomats told Polish Radio that Warsaw cannot agree on any new obligations if the degree to which particular EU states would have to reduce their CO2 emission is not known before the new provision is passed. The diplomats also stressed that Warsaw cannot agree on the adoption of the provision before it secures compensation for the effort that the coal-based member states’ economies would have to suffer to undergo energy transformation from coal to renewable energy.

“We do not agree on the toughening of the [climate] goal, because compensation mechanisms for member states, regions and industries need to be specified in detail,” said Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki ahead of the EU summit.

According to Polish Radio, the Czech Republic’s PM Andrej Babiš shared Poland’s stance on the matter, stating that Prague may not accept the 2050 deadline.

Based on Polish Radio’s unofficial information most EU states agree on the policy of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.