Poland must stop blocking climate action

16 November 2012

Activists satirised the Polish government’s blocking of progress on necessary climate action. Dressed as coal industry lobbyists, our activists offered free Polish coal to participants on their way to the European Council's Working Party on International Environment Issues.

The Polish government’s close ties to the coal industry are leading it to adopt positions in discussions that are not in the best interests of people and the planet, but rather benefit companies engaged in fossil fuel extraction. Friends of the Earth Europe campaigners passed on the message that we shouldn’t dirty European energy policy for the sake of Polish coal.

The industrial interests of a few politically connected people should not be allowed to override the environmental protection desperately needed to prevent devastating climate change. In 2007, the International Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report (page 776, .pdf) recommended 25-40% greenhouse gas emission cuts by 2020 for all developed countries including the EU-27. But the EU’s current greenhouse gas target is an unambitious and insufficient 20% reduction by 2020. The European Commission does not plan to reach 40% emission cuts before 2030, according to the Commission’s Roadmap for a low carbon economy in 2050 (page 14, .pdf).

Speaking about the action today, Michael Pidgeon, Friends of the Earth Europe Climate and Energy programme said: “The Polish government has repeatedly vetoed, watered down and stalled European climate policy. We want to expose Poland's blocking tactics, and offer positive solutions so that Europe can cut its greenhouse gas emissions and lead international climate action. The EU must agree binding targets for renewables, energy savings and emissions for 2030. This would help lay the foundations for an ambitious, binding international agreement.”

Friends of the Earth Europe is campaigning for more ambitious climate action and highlighting positive solutions. The EU can’t afford to hide behind Poland’s destructive role in the European climate policy process.

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