Poland blocks EU move for deeper CO2 cuts

Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:42pm GMT

By Pete Harrison

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Poland blocked an attempt by European Union environment ministers on Tuesday to strengthen EU action to combat climate change, prompting a swift rebuke from Britain's energy minister.

"I'm deeply disappointed that the only country in the EU that could not accept a good compromise on how we can move Europe to a low carbon economy was Poland," Chris Huhne said in a statement.

"It's a dark day for Europe's leading role in tackling climate change, but the UK together with its European colleagues will continue to make the economic case for tighter EU carbon targets so that we can make the most of the future green economy," he added.

But Polish environment minister Andrzej Kraszewski called for understanding of the economic situation of Europe's poorer states, and for more solidarity.

The move suggests friction on climate issues will increase in Europe during the second half of this year, when Poland holds the rotating presidency of the EU.


The stand-off occurred over the following two paragraphs of a declaration prepared for the ministers to endorse:

"The council of the EU recognises the milestones for EU domestic emission reductions... of 40 percent by 2030, 60 percent by 2040 and 80 percent by 2050, compared to the 1990 level."   Continued...

<p>Cooling towers of Czech coal-fired power plant Prunerov II are seen in Prunerov, near the northern Czech town of Chomutov, January 18, 2010. The Federated States of Micronesia -- a chain of more than 600 islands dotting the west Pacific -- is objecting to plans to renovate the lignite-fired power station in Prunerov in the Czech Republic, saying the plant's carbon emissions are a direct threat to the nation's future. Lignite is brown coal, the most polluting and least efficient type, and Micronesia says the Prunerov plant is one of the world's biggest single industrial sources of planet-warming carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. To match interview CLIMATE-CZECH/MICRONESIA REUTERS/David W Cerny</p>
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