Energy transition must be fair, says Polish prime minister

Andrzej Lange/PAP

The Polish prime minister has said that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy must take into account numerous economic factors and acknowledge the differences between Western European countries and Central European states, like Poland.

Mateusz Morawiecki was speaking on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow on Monday.

"A just transition must take into account both the starting point and the fact that in using fossil fuels for 200 years Western communities, in fact, had not been thinking about their impact on climate, but were simply using them to get to their current economic development level," said Moraweicki.

Speaking to reporters, he added that while the majority of the world's countries were fighting the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, world leaders attending the COP26 summit "have been discussing ways designed to overcome it as quickly as possible and, at the same time, how to achieve climate goals."

According to Morawiecki, climate goals can be reached only when good jobs, cheap energy and a clean environment have been secured.

"The current crisis on the gas market has made many world leaders understand that we must take into account various economic factors in our environment," he said.

"If we want to show solidarity towards climate, we must be aware of the fact that the situation of both the US and rich Western European countries is completely different from that of Central European states," Morawiecki said.

In a comment on Twitter on Tuesday, the prime minister also said that any energy transition must not make ordinary people suffer.

"The road leading to climate neutrality must be fair," Morawiecki wrote.