Poland’s resistance leads to EU leaders’ climate battle retreat

The FT reports that the Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki opposed forthcoming plans to extend the EU missions trading scheme (ETS) to include the car and building industries, arguing that it would impact poorer countries the hardest.

Poland has argued at a European Council meeting that current EU emissions rules are geared towards the “rich” as leaders try and decide how to divide up emissions cuts among members of the bloc, Politico reports.

The EU has agreed to cut emissions by 55% by 2030 and to become climate neutral by mid-century, but leaders have been engaged in “a fierce scrap over how those often painful reductions should be apportioned”, the news website adds. It says that leaders emerged with “a bland policy-free final statement” rather than engaging with Poland’s demands for a greater flow of money and richer nations taking responsibility for a greater share of emissions cuts. Nevertheless, the newspaper says that European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Brussels intended to continue with the planned ETS extension, but would initially set up a separate system for these sectors to minimise consumer impact. It also notes that Poland was supported by neighbours including Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltics, while Sweden, Denmark and Germany argued for higher emissions targets on eastern economies. EurActiv quotes Bulgarian president Rumen Radev before the summit saying that, without further measures, poorer EU nations would become poorer.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse via the Guardian reports that Poland’s government has defied an injunction by the top EU court calling for the immediate closure of a major brown coal mine, which is on the border with Germany and the Czech Republic. According to Politico, the Polish government announced it had reached a deal with the Czech Republic to end the lawsuit over the future of the Turów mine. However, it adds that Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš denied that a deal had been reached.

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