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EU ministers agree on climate package despite Polish objections

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 19.09.2015 13:59
UN climate talks were finalised in Brussels on Friday by EU ministers after coming to an agreement with Poland over its objections.
Photo: freeimages.comPhoto: freeimages.com

The EU ministers agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 over 1990 levels.

Poland, one of the bloc’s biggest economies still reliant on coal, managed to bring about changes to some of the long-term goals – effectively concluding the talks quicker than expected on Friday evening.

On the insistence of Poland’s State Secretary for the Environment responsible for Climate Policy, Marcin Korolec, the EU ministers agreed to reword the plans to "climate neutrality" from the proposed “decarbonisation”.

This means that it would “allow for technological solutions, such as carbon capture and storage, to do some of the work, reducing the need to change the fuel mix,” Reuters quoted officials as saying.

Another change negotiated by Poland was the 40 percent drop from 1990 levels by 2030, instead of the earlier 60 percent over 2010 levels. This, EU experts say, was effectively the same.

The debate was complicated by Poland’s 25 October general elections, with the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party – which is ahead in the opinion polls – campaigning for looser climate regulations in order to safeguard the Polish coal industry.

"It is a compromise [...] but it will lead the way to an ambitious, robust, dynamic climate agreement," Carole Dieschbourg, environment minister for Luxembourg, holder of the EU rotating presidency, said at a news conference following the deal.

The climate agreement precedes the Paris UN summit slated to start on 30 November. (rg/rk)

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