Reducing emissions in Poland to zero will cost the country between $760 and $980 billion (700-900 billion euro), said Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski, as quoted by Reuters.
“Of course, these costs would obviously be spread over years. But I treat it as a fantasy when someone says that Poland is able to reach the zero-emission goal by 2050,” Tchorzewski said, according to a report in Polish state news agency PAP.
Poland, along with Hungary and the Czech Republic, became the reason an ambitious emissions plan proposed by other EU members was dropped as a piece of binding legislation.
Later in the year, France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, criticized Poland specifically for still using a lot of fossil fuels—particularly coal—despite the EU’s climate change goals.
Ahead of the UN climate talks last month, Macron slammed Poland for not toeing the line: “Marching every Friday to say that the planet is burning, that’s nice, but that is not the problem,” the French president told media before going on to lash out at climate protesters in France, telling them that they should “go protest in Poland! Help me move those I cannot push forward.”
At the time, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister tried to soften the blow, and Macron himself added remarks to that effect.
“I’m not stigmatising anyone. But I want to convince our Polish friends that it’s good for them to move on this,” Macron said.
Poland is in fact not opposed to zero emissions. However, as Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in June, it will need a solid compensation package for its industry in exchange for a firm commitment to the EU’s ambitious climate change goals.
“Poland wants to catch up with Europe, not to perish. Each percent means huge costs,” Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said, referring to the percentage of renewable energy in Poland.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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