Poland Officially Challenging EU’s Global Warming Scheme


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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Poland filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the European Union’s (EU) plans to price carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Poland’s environmental ministry argued the EU’s CO2 pricing scheme is not binding because it did not have the full backing of the bloc’s 28 member nations. Nine other nations also opposed the deal.

A member of the EU, Poland has been locked in an escalating series of legal challenges over Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). ETS is a major pillar of the EU’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, ostensibly to fight global warming. Europe wants to restructure its current CO2 pricing system to reduce emissions, but Poland fears the changes would be a heavy burden for the country’s industrial plants and coal-fired power stations. Poland thinks that its coal power stations are critical to the country’s energy and national security as well.

Poland threatened to sue the EU last month over ETS, according to documents seen by Reuters.

The EU claims the regulations aren’t formal yet and therefore don’t need backing from every European nation. Poland has repeatedly opposed EU measures to combat global warming and has coal subsidies.

Poland is currently governed by the conservative and anti-EU Law & Justice party, the first political party to win enough seats in parliament to govern alone since the Soviet Union collapsed.

Law & Justice generally opposes wind and solar energy and favors an energy policy that emphasizes tariffs targeted at Russian natural gas. It has even advocated for a moratorium on the construction of new wind power turbines and supports dismantling of any wind plant within three kilometers of a residential area.

Environmental groups like Greenpeace have repeatedly criticized Law & Justice party’s energy policy ideas, claiming that the country’s CO2 emission reductions are insufficiently ambitious.

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