Poland refuses to talk climate as furious EU row erupts: 'It should be on our terms!'

The EU’s Covid-recovery package is a multi-billion euro fund that is part of the EU’s long term budget to boost the economies of EU member states as they recover from the pandemic. But Poland has clashed with Brussels over the defiance of the bloc’s legal order, or the rule of the law, and has been excluded from the fund as a result. The EU has also threatened to slap sanctions on Poland over a ruling by its highest court that some parts of EU law are incompatible with the Polish constitution

But Poland has found a way to hit back at the EU.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday that the EU was using “financial blackmail” in delaying 36 billion euros ($42billion) in stimulus funds.

And Waldemar Buda, a deputy minister of EU funds and regional development for Poland, said on Wednesday that there are “several reasons” for Poland to block the EU climate pact in its current form.

He said: “It should be on our terms.”

The climate pact is an EU-wide initiative that invites member states and their country’s organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe.

Poland is the most reliant on coal in the whole EU and generates more than 70 percent of electricity from this energy source.

It has previously hit out at the EU’s ambitious net zero targets and has asked for more time to cut its emissions than others because of this.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the high-profile populist leader of the Eurosceptic Law & Justice party, also hit out at the EU’s climate plans.

He said in an interview for a Polish Newspaper that it was “ridiculous” for the bloc to make energy restrictions stricter amid soaring energy prices and a gas squeeze from Russia.

He said: “It’s clearly visible that the actions of the Russians aimed at raising gas prices are radically changing energy security on our continent.

“If we don’t take these circumstances into account, and instead blindly pursue pre-set ideas, it will end tragically for the Europeans.”

READ MORE: Poland send EU furious letter as Russia “manipulates’ gas market

But instead, talks were dominated by rule of law discussions.

President of the European Council Charles Michel, in a letter sent to member states ahead of the EU summit on October 21 and 22, said: “Looking ahead to the COP 26 summit, we need an ambitious global response to climate change.

“All major economies should set ambitious targets and meet their commitments on climate finance.”

But with Poland hitting out at the EU’s climate policy, they look to be a tough customer ahead of further EU summit talks and the COP.


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