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Poland challenges EU green transition plan in EU court

The Polish government has filed a complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding two legal acts of the EU’s “Fit for 55” legislative programme for the bloc’s green transition (9 August).

The first act that Poland has challenged is the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) regulation. Once it enters into force, CBAM will require importers of certain energy-intensive goods to pay a levy in respect of their imports that corresponds to the price of emissions allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). 

“Poland fights for its interests in the EU and has so far filed four complaints against the decisions of the Fit for 55 package. We believe that the EU proposals may threaten the energy security of our country, therefore, in accordance with previous declarations, we are submitting further complaints,” said Anna Moskwa, Poland’s Climate and Environment Minister.

The reason for challenging the regulation in the EU court is the “improper legal basis” and the replacement of the principle of unanimity with the principle of majority, Poland’s Climate and Ministry has said via a press release.

“Since the regulation primarily establishes fiscal provisions, instead of the usual legislative procedure requiring a qualified majority in the Council, a special legislative procedure should have been applied, which requires obtaining unanimity among all member states in the Council,” said Minister Moskwa.

Due to the “flawed legal basis,” the Polish government has also challenged an amendment to the EU ETS directive and the decision on a market stability reserve for the ETS system.

Under the amended directive, the emission allowances allocated to the market stability reserve are doubled (200 from 100 million). As the Polish government has said, this reduces the number of allowances available on the market which leads to a sustained high price of greenhouse gas emission allowances.

“It should have been preceded by detailed analyses, as it may reduce the level of energy security of the member states. However, such analyses were not carried out by EU institutions involved in the legislative process. Moreover, the directive violates the principle of subsidiarity, proportionality and sincere cooperation by failing to take into account the real possibilities of Member States during the legislative process,” the Polish Climate and Environment Minister said.

Poland has thus far submitted four complaints to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding provisions that are part of the Fit for 55 package. The complaints include the 2035 ban on registering combustion engine vehicles, raising the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target and reducing the number of free ETS allowances on the market.

Poland also recently filed a complaint to the European Commission against Germany for “illegally imported” waste.

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