EC head acknowledges Poland's energy context at EU debate

Poland will have to transform the regions where coal is still extracted, similarly to eastern Germany, Ursula von der Leyen went on to say. Patrick Seeger/PAP/EPA

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday that EU member states have varying starting points on the path to climate neutrality, citing Poland, which still relies on fossil fuels.

The problems that particular member states face as they strive to go green are also different, the EC president said.

Poland will have to transform the regions where coal is still extracted, similarly to eastern Germany, Ursula von der Leyen went on to say.

This is why Poland asked for more time to analyse the EU's Just Transition Mechanism, she added, declaring willingness to cooperate with member states on the matter.

European Council President Charles Michel said that at an EU summit last week, EU member states unanimously adopted the goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050, with "one country" needing more time to implement the agreement, as he referred to Poland.

After Poland analyses the implications of the agreement, the European Union will come back to the subject in June 2020.