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Poland to follow the EU’s climate targets

Ten months after the European Commission unveiled the European Green Deal, Poland is finally committing to the bloc’s targets.

During an online event, hosted by Euractiv with the support of the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE), Poland’s Deputy Minister of Climate, Adam Guibourge-Czetwertynski, spoke about the government’s aim to build a new energy system. A system that must be modernised and that will provide stable supplies at reasonable prices while, at the same time, reducing emissions.

“We definitely want to make this transformation in Poland, thus contributing to the EU goals,” he said.

Indeed, the government has just launched its new National Energy Policy until 2040, which expects renewable energy sources (RES) to account for at least 23 per cent of the final gross energy consumption. Mr Guibourge-Czetwertynski mentioned nuclear energy as the base for a further increase of RES while an important role will be played by offshore wind and solar power.

Furthermore, Mr Guibourge-Czetwertynski stressed the importance of a just transition in all the country’s regions, especially those that today rely on fossil fuels.

“The costs of a Polish energy transition will be three times higher than in other Member States, so we need to make sure that the policies we design do not create additional burdens,” he underlined.

The share of coal and lignite in electricity generation still amounts to over 75 per cent. According to the updated National Energy Policy, the Ministry of Climate expects to reduce the share of coal in electricity production to 56 per cent by 2030 and to 28 per cent by 2040.

Yet, there is no concrete date for the complete shut down of Poland’s coal plants. According to the PKEE, it will take years, as the starting point is different, compared to other countries with a defined coal phase-out plan, like Germany.

Therefore, Poland is the only country that has not provided a planned date of achieving decarbonisation. According to the Polish Economic Institute’s (PEI) calculations, an optimistic version suggests that the country could become climate-neutral by 2056, but it might be as late as 2067 in a negative scenario.

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