- New budget accord saves $23B — after $65B spending spree
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Poland out of step with Europe on climate
“They cannot set the pace for all of Europe,” Hedegaard told The Associated Press.
The EU’s road map reflects the stated goal by European governments to reduce emissions by 85-90 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.
While Warsaw hasn’t objected to that far-off goal, it has resisted intermediate targets. Last year it vetoed the road map over a reference to raising the EU’s reduction target to 25 percent by 2020, from the current target of 20 percent.
When that part was scratched in the latest plan, put before environment ministers on Friday, Poland objected instead to midterm targets of 40 percent emissions cuts by 2030 and 60 percent by 2040, said Danish Climate Minister Martin Lidegaard, who chaired the talks.
Poland’s objections, he noted, appear to be a “moving target.”
“You could get that feeling. But on the other hand Poland has agreed to the 2050 target and they don’t question that one. So to me it is open question what is the driving force here,” he told AP.
Thomas Spencer, a research fellow in climate and energy economics at the Paris-based think tank IDDRI, said Poland’s veto could mean that Europe runs out of time in pinning down its post-2020 emissions targets in time for 2015, the deadline set for a new global climate pact.
“If the EU doesn’t get its act together it’s going to be rather hamstrung in those discussions,” he said.
Poland is resisting the EU’s 2050 carbon roadmap because it relies heavily on its natural coal deposits and believes that moves to a low-carbon economy would hurt economic development in this ex-communist country.
“You have to take into account our specific circumstances, mainly that coal is an indigenous resource here,” Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec told AP. “We have the privilege to have this coal at home and this is also part of our starting point and an important element of our energy security.”
Poland otherwise depends heavily on imported gas and oil for other energy needs. Most comes from Russia, a dependence that Poland resents and is trying to free itself of with plans to build nuclear power plants in several years and with an ongoing search for shale gas.
Climate activists, including in Poland, blasted the country’s veto. Greenpeace said Poland “is adding to its image of an outdated economy and is holding back progress for the entire continent,” while the Climate Action Network said the veto was bad news for both Europe and Poland.
“Without incentives for green investment, it risks being unable to complete urgently required modernization of its outmoded energy system,” said Julia Michalak, of CAN Europe.
Andrzej Kassenberg, the president of the Institute for Sustainable Development in Warsaw, noted that 40 percent of the power stations in Poland are more than 50 years old and the power grid is also old and inefficient, meaning that major investments are going to be required in the next years either way.
“For the Polish economy and energy sector, the (EU’s 2050) target can create pressure for changing in the direction of a more innovative and modern economy,” Kassenberg said. “It’s a huge opportunity because we need to invest in the energy sector anyway.”
Ritter reported from Stockholm.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- New budget accord saves $23B -- after $65B spending spree
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- EDITORIAL: The shake that shook the world
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- GOV'T MOTORS: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $15 billion loss for taxpayers
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow