Poland’s EU budget commissioner in climate change controversy

Poland’s EU budget commissioner has been forced to recant after he claimed climate change was exaggerated and argued that overambitious EU CO2 emissions targets would hurt his country’s economy.

Bruno Waterfield
Telegraph [UK]
01 Jul 2011

Janusz Lewandowski, the EU budget commissioner, was accused by green campaigners and MEPs of climate change “denial” because he questioned the science of global warming.

Poland is reliant on coal-fired power stations for up to 90 per cent of its electricity and the former Communist bloc country last week blocked an EU attempt to increase a target to cut CO2 emissions from 20 to 30 per cent.

The row over Polish opposition to stricter climate change targets, described as a “dark day for Europe” by Chris Huhne, the Environment Secretary, has overshadowed Poland’s six-month turn at the EU’s rotating presidency which began on Friday.

In an interview with the Novy Przemysl magazine, Mr Lewandowski argued the EU’s policy of increasing greenhouse gas reduction targets would be a “disaster” for Poland, which is still rebuilding its economy from the backwardness of the Soviet era.

“There is a view breaking through that the theory of coal-generated power as the main culprit of global warming is seriously in doubt,” he said…

…Radek Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, told The Daily Telegraph, that criticism of his country for not accepting new more stringent targets was unfair.

“God gave us coal and before we develop our shale gas deposits we will have to rely on electricity generation from coal, and the changing of an energy mix is something takes time,” he said.

“If others want to do it now, we welcome it but we have come to the limit. Poland is relatively poor country with a lot of coal so don’t expect us to be the leader on this issue.”…

Read the entire article at the Telegraph.

H/T Ann McElhinney on Facebook: “…Poland has been held an energy captive by the Russians. How sweet a thing to tell that tyrant nation where to take their gas supplies. Please, Poland, stand strong.”

Comments are closed.