Tuesday

23rd May 2017

Poland gears up for battle over CO2 emissions

Poland is stepping up its pressure to alter plans on how the EU's power sector should reduce CO2 emissions, with the country's prime minister, Donald Tusk, set to get "really very tough" when the issue comes up at the EU leaders' meeting next week (15-16 October).

"We want to do this [to produce clean electricity], but in a realistic period of time," one Polish diplomat said on Thursday (9 October), referring to the idea of reforming the union's emissions trading scheme - the cornerstone of its strategy against climate change.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Under the overhaul, EU governments would no longer give away permits to pollute to the power sector for free. Instead, the industry would be forced to buy the right to emit carbon dioxide by auction, with full auctioning for the sector expected to kick in from 2013.

Poland claims that the reform does not take into account the country's current reality and is likely to harm its economy. Almost 95 percent of energy production is based on coal.

"We are not able to enter such a tough system from 2013," the diplomat said, calling for an "evolutionary way" - an approach that would see industry moving towards full auctioning gradually and buying 100 percent of pollution permits only from 2020.

"We are not able to make these investments within five years ... but it doesn't mean that we would do nothing," the Polish expert concluded.

French EU presidency plans to hold a "short, but concise discussion" on the issue during the EU leaders' summit that will see several hot topics discussed, including the global financial crisis and immigration.

Earlier this week, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk linked the energy issue with the current economic outlook, saying "The international financial crisis makes it necessary to revise the energy and climate package to take into account the new circumstances."

"The nations of the EU cannot adopt decisions today that will contribute to an increase in the price of energy," he added, AFP reports.

Poland has already build a small coalition around itself, involving Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. But one diplomat told the EUobserver that the composition of the group is not carved in stone.

Power generating plants in some countries have reportedly already included the plans for full auctioning into their electricity prices, the diplomat said, underlining that if this is proved to be true, then there is no need to protect the industry by a phased-in approach.

The income from full auctioning will be delivered to national coffers.

The mood in the European parliament is also to leaning towards full quota auctions from 2013 as suggested by the commission. Brussels believes that new emission trading rules will help the 27-nation bloc reach the target, agreed by EU leaders in March last year, of reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

Portugal held up as symbol of EU recovery

Portugal to sail out of troubled waters after eight years of financial crisis, EU commission predicted, amid broad but "fragile" recovery in European economy.

Trade deal ratification needs member states, EU court says

The EU Court of Justice has ruled that the Singapore trade deal needs member states' ratification in its current form. It said that only investments do not belong under the EU's sole competence, potentially removing Brexit complications.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  2. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  4. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  5. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  7. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  8. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  9. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  10. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  11. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Cost of Speaking Out: Human Rights Violations Committed in Belarus