Bring back coal to fight Russia – Poland — Analysis

PM Morawiecki said that energy security and climate change must be prioritized by the EU.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Polish Prime Minister, stated that the noble cause to combat climate change must be abandoned in favour of Russia’s immediate goals. On Monday, Mateusz Morawiecki published an opinion piece in The Financial Times arguing that the EU should substantially relax its rules regarding greenhouse gas emissions.

“Poland recognizes the importance of fighting climate change. However, we must do everything possible to ensure that the virus of neo-imperialism does not develop in our own backyard,”According to the Polish official,

Morawiecki’s criticism was primarily directed at the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS), which requires certain industries to buy allowances to produce greenhouse gas in a carbon market. The system was established in 2005 and involves the reduction of overall allowances over time to force energy producers, airlines, and other polluters to become greener. 

Warsaw has criticised this arrangement since it allegedly drove energy prices up beyond what is necessary. Poland’s state-owned energy sector is dominated by coal plants, which are significant producers of carbon dioxide.

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Political leaders in Poland have complained about the impact of the ETS price rise on consumers. But, Warsaw has been accused by critics of misleading the public. This was by exaggerating EU emissions trade’s effect on Polish utilities and not accounting for the profit the government earns by selling allowances.

Morawiecki reiterated in his piece to the FT his demands for reform of the ETS, and stated that the appeals of his country as well as those from other Eastern European nations had been finally heard by Brussels.

Poland claims that there was financial speculation driving the hike in the allowance price since 2018, which has risen by an almost order of magnitude. It went from below €10 per metric ton of carbon to above €90. 

The European Securities and Markets Agency examined the matter and concluded that there was no abuse of market power. The European Central Bank said the introduction of increasingly stringent climate change policies in the EU was a key factor making the allowances more costly.

Morawiecki claimed that Russia is responsible for the energy price rises in Europe. This required urgent measures. His country proposes suspending the ETS trade and fixing the allowance price at €30 for a year or two. Another possible option is the return of coal energy, he stated.

“It may be a necessary condition of maintaining a strong European community capable of resisting Russia and supporting Ukraine,”He said.

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