Tuesday

29th Nov 2022

Alarm as EU budget chief questions global warming

  • Lewandowski: 'The main cause of global warming is highly doubtful' (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is apparently unconcerned that the chief architect of the EU's forthcoming multi-annual budget has major doubts over the existence of global warming.

Environmental groups are sounding alarm bells however, warning that EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski's scepticism towards climate change is almost certain to affect his drafting of the crucial EU document which will shape the bloc's policy for years to come (2014-2020).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"There's an emerging point of view, that the thesis about coal energy as the main cause of global warming is highly doubtful," Lewandowski told Polish trade magazine Nowy Przemysl earlier this month.

"Question marks are appearing ever more frequently over global warming itself," added the Polish commissioner, whose country relies on coal for 90 percent of its electricity generation.

A spokesman for Lewandowski confirmed the accuracy of the statements.

"His overall line is that it would be impossible for Poland to shift away from coal overnight. But he also expressed his doubts over climate change, in a personal capacity," Patrizio Fiorilli told this website.

Barroso is apparently unconcerned by Lewandowski's comments however, despite recently issuing a speech in Brussels in which he declared: "The effects of climate change are - quite literally - all around us."

"We have a clear commission position on climate change which is the one that [EU climate commissioner] Connie Hedegaard expresses every week," said a spokesman for Barroso.

"We have no fears that when the budget is presented it will reflect the views of the commission as a whole," added Alejandro Ulzurrun.

Green groups said Lewandowski's comments were deeply perturbing however, amid reports that next week's budget proposals may include cuts for environmental schemes under the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP).

"It comes as a shock, especially following the commission president's recent statements. So much for collegiality," said Tony Long, director of the WWF's Brussels office.

"That degree of climate change scepticism is now rare in Europe, and even rarer among politician's of Lewandowski's seniority."

"One can't have much faith in the commission's budget proposals if one of the chief architects admits in a private capacity that he has doubts over global warming."

At the same time, various news reports suggest next week's highly-anticipated proposals may seek to cut spending under pillar two of the CAP, a funding stream currently used to reward farmers for various environmental activities such as protecting endangered wetlands.

Lewandowski's comments add to a growing list of controversial statements made by EU commissioners serving in the Barroso II administration.

ECB says more rate hikes to come

European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said more rate hikes will come, but also admitted a recession will not lower inflation — leaving some economist question the logic of the policy.

ECB says more rate hikes to come

European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said more rate hikes will come, but also admitted a recession will not lower inflation — leaving some economist question the logic of the policy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Legal scholars: Prosecuting Putin 'legally problematic'
  2. A missed opportunity in Kazakhstan
  3. EU's Hungary funds, China, energy, and Frontex This WEEK
  4. Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges
  5. The 'proof' problem with EU sanctions — and how to fix it
  6. The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?
  7. Enough talk, only rights can eliminate patriarchal violence
  8. Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us