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CLIMATE CHANGE : 2050 OBJECTIVES RIGID AND COSTLY, POLISH MINISTER SAYS.

Polish Deputy Minister of Economy Marcin Korolec voiced serious concerns about the European Union's proposed 2050 emission reduction targets, at a briefing held at the European Parliament, on 10 November.

The European Council has committed member states to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80-95% in its 30 October 2009 conclusions. The Commission's Road map for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050'(1) confirms this possibility. According to estimates, the boldest CO2 cuts could be performed by the power sector, amounting to 54-68% in 2030 and 93-99% by 2050.

However, Korolec noted: "We should [ ] bear in mind that the climate targets are not and should not be the sole pillar of our energy policy. There are also objectives related to the security of supply and competitiveness".

Poland, whose domestic energy consumption is almost exclusively supplied by high GHG-producing coal, has often criticised the EU targets as strict and economically unfounded. The minister cited Commission calculations indicating that the investment costs required to reach them may shoot up to 1.5-2.2 trillion by 2050. Rather than pursuing faraway targets, he would concentrate on creating a competitive energy market, which would bring down costs and include a strong Community approach vis-a-vis third countries. He argued for flexibility in regulation and reiterated his opposition to a single power generation policy or a desired European energy mix.

"We simply cannot agree rigid targets for 2050 ignoring what may happen on the way. We cannot take our eyes of the ball and focus on long-term objectives, losing legitimacy with our citizens somewhere on the way," he added.

(1) COM(2011)112

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Publication:Europe Energy
Date:Nov 22, 2011
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