Thursday

23rd Nov 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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.

Commission warns Italy over high debt level

The Italian government must demonstrate it is making an effort, or the EU will consider launching a procedure. France and Romania are also under scrutiny.

MEPs ponder how to fight tax havens

After the Paradise Papers brought new revelations about tax dodging across the globe, including in the EU, the European Parliament wonders how to step up the fight.

News in Brief

  1. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  2. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  3. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers
  4. French banks close Le Pen accounts
  5. Commission relaxes rules on labelling free range eggs
  6. Commission issues €34m fine over car equipment cartel
  7. Estonian presidency 'delighted' with emissions trading vote
  8. Mladic found guilty of genocide and war crimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  2. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  3. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  4. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  6. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  7. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  8. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  9. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  10. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  11. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  12. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure

Latest News

  1. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  2. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  3. Commission warns Italy over high debt level
  4. Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes
  5. Uber may face fines in EU for keeping data breach secret
  6. EU counter-propaganda 'harms' relations, Russia says
  7. The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik
  8. Glyphosate: 1.3 million EU citizens call for ban