Piotr Naimski, Poland’s chief strategic energy adviser, said energy security is higher priority than sticking to EU emission goals. In an act of defiance, he said it was “not possible and not feasible” for Warsaw to meet the EU target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Mr Naimski said coal would generate up to half of Warsaw’s electricity in 20 years time.
He told the Financial Times: “Responsibilities for the planned EU target should be shared among EU states, taking into consideration every country’s situation and possibilities.
“The cost of this idea rises to hundreds of billions of dollars.
“Politicians trying to proceed with such a process, they are not living on the ground.”
The EU is playing a leading role in the Paris climate accord, which aims to radically cut global carbon emissions.
But Poland, the EU’s biggest coal burning nation, is at odds with Brussels over the targets.
In June Poland led a handful of eastern EU states in blocking a push by France and most others to commit the bloc to net zero emissions by mid-century.
Last week French President Emmanuel Macron called out Warsaw, saying “there is one country that blocked everything, it’s Poland”.
Speaking at the UN climate summit in New York, he said: “Environment activists should go protest in Poland.
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“Help me move those I cannot push forward.”
The remarks come after Polands energy minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said it was a “fantasy” for the EU to believe his nation could reach that goal by 2050.
He said Poland needed €700-900 billion to reach a net zero emissions economy,
He said: “Of course, these costs would obviously be spread over years.
“But I treat it as a fantasy when someone says that Poland is able to reach the zero-emission goal by 2050.”
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in June that Poland wants a strong compensation package for its industry in exchange for agreeing to commit the EU to a more ambitious target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Warsaw produces most of its electricity from coal and has been urged look at cleaner technologies to comply with EU requirements on emissions reduction requirements.
Earlier this year, the Brussels bloc agreed to substantial reductions of carbon emissions by 2030 and the Commission wants the bloc to reduce them to zero by 2050 to help stop global warming, the rise of average worldwide temperatures.
But countries heavily dependent on burning fossil fuels for their energy like Poland or the Czech Republic, have been reluctant to accept the ambitious goals.
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