Thursday, March 02, 2017

Poland "strongly critical" about EU emission rulings: development minister

Poland is strongly critical about the EU's new proposals regarding CO2 emissions as they endanger its energy, steel and mining industries, Polish Development Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Wednesday.

Morawiecki told a press conference in the seat of the Gdynia-based Vistal Offshore company that the EU's emission reduction proposals "spelt danger for industry, and particularly Polish industry" as they threatened to burden high-energy industrial segments, especially steel industry, with additional reduction costs.

Morawiecki also reminded that in terms of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Poland was among the leading emission-restricting countries.

Morawiecki said Poland was "fighting" the new rulings, but admitted that the task was difficult owing to agreements in the matter sealed by the previous government. He added that Poland was striving to renegotiate the rulings in a bid to salvage its mining, steel and energy industries.

On Tuesday in Brussels, EU environment ministers passed a joint position on planned reforms of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) to protests by Poland and eight other EU members.

After the talks, Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko told reporters that the planned approach to the ETS reform plan was destructive to Polish energy security as it blocked coal, Poland's chief energy source. Szyszko added that the ministers' position on the ETS changes "had nothing to do with the Paris Agreement."

The ETS system is one of the main instruments to enable greenhouse emission reductions in keeping with the 2016 Paris Agreement's goal to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

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