EU commissioner expresses understanding for Poland's climate stance

Canete said that it was not true that Poland refused to sign the European climate neutrality goal during the last meeting of the European Council, but was in a group of countries that were not at that moment ready to support the proposal. /PAP/EPA

The European Union must respond to the doubts of the member states which did not sign the European climate neutrality 2050 goal, PAP was told by EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Canete.

The commissioner, on Thursday, addressed the European Committee of the Regions, an EU advisory body composed of regionally-elected representatives from all 28 member states which presents opinions on the impact of EU legislation on the regions.

Later, speaking to PAP, Canete said that it was not true that Poland refused to sign the European climate neutrality goal during the last meeting of the European Council, but was in a group of countries that were not at that moment ready to support the proposal.

This situation will continue until the EU suggests a new framework for supporting energy transformation, he added.

The European Council, which is composed of leaders of 28 EU member states, has asked the European Commission (EC), the EU's executive arm, to prepare a framework that will facilitate energy transformation in all the regions, including Poland, Canete told PAP.

The EC is going to analyse how to channel 25 percent of the next EU budget to climate measures, the commissioner also said, mentioning in this context "a fund for a just energy transformation," a Polish proposal aimed to support countries whose power industries are based on fossil fuels.

The European Parliament has supported an amendment to the EU's budget for 2021-2027 that set aside EUR 4.8 bln for the fund. The initiative is also supported by the Committee for the Regions.

Canete said that it is important to achieve climate neutrality in a fair and just way in order not to leave any EU region behind and make sure new jobs are created in places where traditional industry is going to be phased out.

The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland did not support the EU climate agenda until 2050, over concerns that the ambitious goal will incur huge costs in terms of money and jobs in their fossil fuel-based energy sectors. Some sources also mention Estonia as one of the objectors. The information is based on informal reports as the European Council met behind closed doors.