The Warsaw Business Journal reports:
Last week Poland stood alone in casting its veto against further cuts in carbon emissions. On Friday, March 9, Poland’s Minister of the Environment vetoed the European Commission’s proposal to cut the emission of greenhouse gases beyond the current 20 percent reduction goals now in place. Poland’s veto is the second in less than a year it has cast to block the EC’s effort to impose further CO2 reductions on member states. The proposal, if adopted, would have obligated Poland to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. At present Poland is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 20 percent (as compared to 1990 levels) by 2020, together with the other member states.
In reality, Poland had no choice but to veto the proposal. Poland relies on coal-fired power plants to produce nearly 95 percent of all its electricity. If the EU were to adopt more stringent CO2 reduction goals, Poland would be faced with the monumental task of revamping its entire power sector in order to achieve the more ambitious CO2 reduction targets. No other EU member state relies on coal to the extent Poland does to produce its electricity. If Poland were forced to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent, it would have to shutter many of its existing power plants, as well as shelve its current plans to construct not fewer than 12 new coal-fired power plants within the next 10 years…