Clear financial conditions of EU climate strategy needed - minister

According to Kurtyka, Poland is a country that can benefit from this transformation, but "the scope of investment challenges and financial needs are considerable." Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Polish Climate Minister Michał Kurtyka believes that in order to implement a long-term EU climate strategy, including plans to reach climate neutrality by 2050, it is necessary to define its financial conditions and ensure social approval.

The European Council will meet on December 13 to finalise its work on the guidelines of the long-term EU strategy, which is to be presented to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in early 2020.

"We have a proposal forwarded by Ursula von der Leyen to make climate neutrality the EC's chief goal. It is very important so that various starting points of particular member countries and their financial abilities should be taken into account," Kurtyka told PAP, adding that under the Paris Agreement, climate neutrality is to be achieved in the second half of the 21st century.

"What is being discussed on the EU forum today is speed and European solidarity as well as the conditions of a transformation, which should be carried out in a safe and just way both for Poland and other EU countries," Kurtyka said.

The minister added that reaching climate neutrality was a civilisational challenge concerning not only the energy sector.

According to Kurtyka, Poland is a country that can benefit from this transformation, but "the scope of investment challenges and financial needs are considerable."

"Much will depend on the path we will choose," he said, underlining that it was necessary to find ways to make the transformation just and safe, make it increase living standards and give a chance to industry.

The EU climate policy was one of the subjects of an EU summit in June. Its final conclusions were blocked by Poland and several other EU countries.