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Poland’s PM accepts inferior agreement to avoid net zero commitment

European Union

In this week’s gossage we’ll explore why Poland’s claimed victory against the EU in the fight against net zero commitments may not be such a great deal after all. 

The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, returned to Warsaw waving the European Council 2030 expenditure deal, and claiming victory. Poland is the only EU country refusing to agree to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and an earlier draft text had said countries must accept this target in order to receive climate funds for greening the economy. 

But Morawiecki used his veto threat to convince other leaders to drop this demand. The result is that Poland will still be able to access 50% of those funds without signing up to the climate goal. 

“We won better rules than what the European Commission proposed [with] the possibility of getting 50% immediately, without committing to the climate target,” boasted Morawiecki. 

What he failed to mention is that his victory is largely hollow. Because the trade-off he agreed shrinks by half of a new climate abatement funding that had been created specifically at the request of Warsaw. Poland could have had 100% of a potential €38 billion top-up via this ‘Just Transition Fund’, aimed at supporting coal-reliant countries’ transition to clean energy economies. Instead it will get 50% of a potential €18 billion – all for exclusion from a 2050 goal most reckon Poland will eventually sign up to anyway during 2021.

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