Polish Opt-Out From EU Climate Pact? Lets Talk, Says Naimski – by Maiej Martewicz (Bloomberg News – June 21, 2015)


Poland’s leading opposition party is seeking to negotiate exemptions from the European Union’s rules on reducing carbon emissions because the nation’s energy security and economic development depends on coal.

Law & Justice, which opinion polls show winning October’s general election, has vowed to toughen Poland’s stance on climate issues to protect the $526 billion economy, which relies on coal for about 90 percent of its electricity. While the government has been critical of EU emissions goals, it didn’t veto last year’s move toward stricter curbs on discharging heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

“The strategy that we’re planning for the economy rejects the dogma of de-carbonization,” Piotr Naimski, in charge of preparing energy policy at Law & Justice, said in an interview last week. “The role of coal in Poland’s economy fully deserves to receive special treatment.”

Poland will negotiate hard to win “respect” from EU partners for its stance on coal, which Naimski said mirrors the special exceptions, or “opt-outs,” from the bloc’s rules won by a number of other member nations. The country treats development of its coal deposits as a keystone of its energy security in a region dependent on Russian oil and gas imports.

“Nobody is thinking of leaving the EU, but there is an idea to again look at Poland’s unique situation,” he said.

‘Functional Link’

The 28-nation EU’s regulatory arm wants to propose in July a draft law detailing how to implement last year’s agreement to curb emissions by 40 percent by 2030 from levels in the 1990s.

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