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Poland blocks EU climate progress.
 14.03.2012 23:40:17
Poland blocks EU climate progress

Brussels, March 9 - Targets for cutting climate-changing emissions by 2050 were discussed by Europe's environment ministers in Brussels today but no agreement was reached after Poland rejected a compromise deal.

The failure means Europe will be less likely to be able to prevent catastrophic climate change, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.

The major stumbling block was a proposal to adopt indicative long-term targets of 40 per cent emission cuts by 2030 (based on 1990 levels) and 60 per cent by 2040 as contained in the European Commission's 'Roadmap to a Low Carbon Economy in 2050'. [1]

Poland refused to accept these milestones even after the Danish presidency of the EU tried to make concessions by removing an increased mid-term target of 25 per cent domestic reductions by 2020. It was the second time Poland has blocked EU emission cuts. [2]

Heads of State will now tackle these discussions at their next meeting in June. Poland could risk receiving less money from the future EU budget as a consequence.

Esther Bollendorff, climate justice campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe commented: "It is outrageous that one Member State repeatedly refuses to acknowledge the long-term benefits of reducing emissions quickly and in a planned way into the next decade and beyond. Heads of States need to step in to overcome the stalemate. It is unacceptable that a single country blocks climate action in the EU."

Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for at least 40 per cent domestic emission cuts by 2020. This is the scale of cuts needed to avoid runaway climate change.

The campaign group calls on EU leaders to reach an agreement to cut emissions by 25 per cent domestically by 2020 in order to progress towards the long-term cuts needed. It would ensure economic benefits of two million additional good quality jobs, reduced fuel dependency, and 20 billion per year savings from less fuel spending and reduced healthcare costs.

[1] A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050. COM (2011) 112 final can be found at:

[2] Environment Council conclusions in June 2011 were approved by all Member States, except Poland.


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