Backward Polish government vetoes climate agreements

Press release - March 9, 2012
Brussels - Poland stood alone in blocking European climate agreements today during a meeting of EU environment ministers.

Smoke belching from the Patnów coal plant in Poland. The country relies on coal for over 90% of its electricity.


The country vetoed climate milestones for 2030 and 2040 that would help guide Europe towards its 2050 goal of reducing carbon emissions between 80-95 percent. It also blocked a mention of European Commission analysis showing that the EU could cut its emissions by at least 25% by 2020 merely by sticking to its energy savings target.

Greenpeace EU climate policy director Joris den Blanken said: “Poland is adding to its image of an outdated economy and is holding back progress for the entire continent. Europe sorely needs to free itself from expensive fossil fuel imports that are a massive daily drag to economic recovery and climate security.” 

The EU spent €315 billion on fossil fuel imports in 2011, according to the International Energy Agency, a 40 percent rise on 2010. At today’s oil prices, fossil fuel imports are costing the EU economy over €1 billion per day.

Greenpeace calls on European leaders Angela Merkel, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, David Cameron and the next French president to help reinvigorate the EU’s climate ambition at the next EU summit.

Two thirds of Polish people expect their government to take responsibility for fighting the climate crisis, according to research cited by Polish civil society group Koalicja Klimatyczna.



Joris den Blanken - Greenpeace EU climate policy director: +32 (0) 476 961 375
Jack Hunter - Greenpeace media officer: +32 (0)476 988 584

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