23rd Apr 2021

Lewandowski rows back on climate remarks

  • Environmental groups say burning coal is key driver of climate change (Photo: Wikipedia)

EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski has clarified that he does believe in global warming, despite recent statements in which he appeared to question the validity of the phenomenon.

The climbdown was posted on Lewandowski's homepage on Monday (27 June), just days after a trio of MEPs called on European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to sanction his Polish colleague.

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"In order to clarify misunderstandings, built on unauthorised quotations, taken out of context, here is my true position on the question of climate change," reads Lewandowski's statement.

"I acknowledge the fact that the overwhelming majority of scientific studies confirm the phenomenon of global warming."

"I have never said that climate change is not taking place [and] neither that man made emissions are not contributing to this phenomenon. As a member of the College of Commissioners I fully subscribe to the Europe 2020 strategy, to its environmental goals as well as to the agreed CO2 reduction targets."

The remarks stand in contrast to a recent interview the commissioner gave to Polish trade magazine Novy Przemysl (New Industry) in which he argued that EU emission-cutting targets were over ambitious.

Poland secures roughly 90 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, with Warsaw recently blocking an EU initiative to go beyond a current pledge to cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020.

"There is a notion that the thesis that coal energy is the main cause of global warming is highly questionable," Lewandowski told the magazine.

"Moreover, more and more often there is a question mark put over the whole [issue of] global warming as such," he added in the interview.

A spokesman subsequently confirmed the accuracy of the comments to this website.

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