Poland wants fresh EU money to back climate neutrality goal

(EurActiv, 17 Oct 2019) Achieving climate neutrality requires “significantly larger” amounts of funding than what is currently on offer in the EU’s long-term budget proposal for 2021-2027, Warsaw said in a memo circulated ahead of an EU leaders’ summit opening on Thursday (17 October).

The Polish demands are spelled out in a “non-paper” circulated to EU leaders meeting in Brussels for a two-day summit beginning on Thursday.

Poland was one of four EU countries to block a deal on net-zero emissions at the last meeting of national leaders in June. And Warsaw has now clearly linked its backing for the 2050 climate goal to the budget negotiation.

Europe’s increased ambitions require “new instruments – including finances – in order to support effectively the transition to a climate-neutral economy,” Poland said in the memo, obtained by EURACTIV.

Investments in the range of €180-€290 billion will be needed annually in order to reach the 1.5°C objective of the Paris Agreement, according to the European Commission.

“The existing framework and instruments will not be sufficient to achieve climate neutrality,” the memo insists, saying higher climate ambition “should go hand in hand” with bigger sources of funding, especially for the poorest EU countries.

“We expect that the Commission will present concrete figures broken down by member states,” the memo states, underlining that the costs of the transition are higher for countries which are heavily dependent on coal, like Poland.

To make sure EU money goes in priority where it’s most needed, Poland is calling for new “conditionality” rules to support regions and countries with the biggest needs.

In concrete terms, this means “the Just Transition Fund needs to be significantly larger” and “go well beyond” the EU’s proposed long-term budget for 2021-2027, the memo said.

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EurActiv, 17 Oct 2019: Poland wants fresh EU money to back climate neutrality goal