Most EU member states wanted to oblige the European Commission and the EU Council to create a framework for a transformation that Europe needs to make in order to become CO2-neutral, that is, absorb the same amount of greenhouse gases it emits.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told journalists: “Together with the Visegrad Group and Estonia, we led to a situation where 2050 is not included in the conclusions, and this, translated into practical language, means that today we have not adopted additional, even more ambitious climate targets and thus secured the interests of Polish entrepreneurs and citizens who would bear the risk of additional taxation and costs, and we could not agree to this.”
The bloc so far has a target of 40-percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels for 2030.
Although the draft conclusions stated that the decarbonisation plan would be carried out in such a way as to safeguard European competitiveness, ensure fairness and take into account the circumstances of individual member states, this was not sufficient, PAP said.
Morawiecki said: “We need to know what funds we will receive to modernise our individual sectors of the economy so that possible changes and new obligations that may arise, for example as a result of EU climate policy, reflect our state of economic development and our challenges, as well as our risks.”
He added: “We are not satisfied with the wording concerning fair and responsible energy transformation, because if we are talking about fair and responsible energy transformation, it is worth stressing that already today, in the context of energy consumption, Western European countries sometimes consume twice as much energy per capita as Poland, but only shift production to Asian countries or other parts of the world.”
Krzysztof Jędrzejewski, an expert with the Climate Coalition, said: “Unfortunately, the failure of the talks means that some decisionmakers are only interested in short-term political interests and election posts, not in our future.”
He added: “They continue to succumb to pressure from the lobbies of the coal industry and other fossil fuels instead of making the necessary fair transition and making the economy and energy sector sustainable. Such a policy will provide us with only one thing -- hell on earth.”
The European Commission, which last autumn set out a long-term vision for a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, has indicated that it will require concerted action in seven areas. These are energy efficiency; deployment of renewables; clean, safe and connected mobility; competitive industry and circular economy; infrastructure and interconnections; bio-economy and natural carbon sinks; carbon capture and storage to address remaining emissions.