Polish PM calls for freezing prices of emission rights

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has called for freezing of CO2 emission allowances prices to help bring down the cost of energy.

Under the EU's long-term greenhouse reduction initiative, the EU ETS, European companies have to purchase carbon allowances on the EU carbon market or through the EU ETS auctions to compensate for the excess greenhouse gases they emit.

Poland relies heavily on coal in electricity production so the price of the EU emission allowances has a big influence on the price of electricity in the country.

"Today, for the benefit of citizens, we need to free up a lot of CO2 emission rights, preferably flood the market with tens or hundreds of millions of rights," Morawiecki said in Prague at an informal meeting of the European Council on Friday. "Otherwise, we should administratively freeze the price at the level of EUR 20-30."

Currently, the right to emit one tonne of greenhouse gases costs about EUR 70. The prices of such allowances are shaped by the market.

But Poland has been advocating for months to put a cap on them.

"Today I asked (for a suspension of the market price - PAP) for at least six months if not 12 months, or even two years," Morawiecki said.

"Unfortunately, so far the EU has been deaf to our calls," the prime minister complained, saying that "if the European Commission took action, all Poles would have cheaper energy."

Prices of electricity have been under tremendous pressure in Poland also due to Russia's war in Ukraine and a subsequent Polish embargo on Russian coal, which constituted a significant part of Polish power plants' purchases.

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