No EU funds for Poland if climate goals aren’t agreed, Macron warns

French President Emmanuel Macron holds a press conference at the end of the European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, 13 December 2019. [EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND /]

Poland would not be eligible for EU funds available under the European Green Deal if it does not sign up to the EU’s climate objectives, French President Emmanuel Macron warned at the closure of an EU summit on Friday (13 December).

All EU countries signed up yesterday to a proposed climate neutrality objective for 2050 except for Poland, which asked for more time.

EU leaders gave Warsaw “until June, to confirm that it will also implement this objective at the national level,” Macron said at a press conference after the EU summit ended on Friday.

The French President said he supports the €100 billion Just Transition Mechanism proposed by the European Commission as part of a Green Deal on Wednesday (11 December).

Poland is “legitimate” in asking for EU solidarity on climate change because it has a bigger challenge than other countries due to its heavy reliance on coal, the French President said, calling for greater solidarity from the EU towards Warsaw.

EU leaders offer money to reluctant east to push 2050 climate neutrality

European Union leaders on Thursday (12 December) will push an agreement to make their bloc climate neutral by 2050, luring reluctant eastern member states with promises of extra money for their heavily-polluting economies.

But the EU’s solidarity mechanisms “would not apply” if Poland doesn’t subscribe to the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality objective, he warned.

“Let’s be very clear. This temporary exemption doesn’t impede the European Union in any way. It doesn’t slow down in any way the implementation of the Green Deal,” Macron said recalling that Poland has no veto on climate policy and that decisions could still be made by a qualified majority.

“And if in the end Poland was not to confirm its participation, it would itself step outside European mechanisms, including mechanisms of financial solidarity,” the French President warned, saying he hoped Europe could soon move forward “collectively” to reach the 2050 carbon neutrality goal.

Speaking after the summit, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the June discussion would focus more on the details of conditions to receive funds from the Just Transition Mechanism.

When asked if Poland would eventually sign up to the 2050 target, Morawiecki refused to elaborate saying only that the Polish government is not willing to set “any new dates.”

The Brief, powered by BP – A green bridge over the EU’s East-West divide?

A grand bargain is on the table to persuade Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to sign up to the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal. It’s an offer they would be foolish to refuse. Here’s why.

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