The majority of Poles support a proposed 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and overwhelmingly back more renewable energy builds to save them from energy dependency on Russia, according to a poll carried out by the global civic movement, Avaaz.
The survey’s results were released today ahead of an EU summit, which is expected to focus on the Ukraine crisis, with climate issues expected to be relegated to a perfunctory exchange before the summit’s end on Friday afternoon.
Poland has led efforts to block any deal this year on climate and energy targets for 2030, mobilising a coalition of central and eastern European nations, under Hungary’s formal stewardship, to argue for greater burden sharing in any final agreement.
“We want clarification of the [global] level of ambition before the UN summit in September,” one EU diplomat from the group told journalists yesterday (19 March). “There's one figure we want to know – emissions – and that's enough.”
“We don't expect major surprises [at the summit], but we would like a roadmap,” he added.
But according to the new poll, Polish leaders are out of touch with their electorate. The poll finds that:
- 88% of Poles want their government to focus on building renewable energy to increase independence from Russian gas supplies
- 59% of Poles want their prime minister, Donald Tusk, to support efforts to cut carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030
- 67% of Poles view climate change as a threat that will affect their lives in coming years
- 57% said that candidates’ positions on renewable energy and climate issues would probably their voting plans in future elections
The survey of 1,000 people was conducted by computer assisted telephone interviewing techniques between 14-16 March.
“Poland’s government will show itself out of step with its own people, and with business, scientists, and most European countries until it says yes to climate goals,” said Alex Wilks, Avaaz Campaign Director. “If no decision is taken this week, it will hobble Europe’s leadership in the race to save our planet.”
The poll comes as a deluge of letters from the clean energy business sector arrives at EU ministers’ front doors. Three thousand European small businesses signed a single letter, calling for a 50% cut in carbon emissions by 2030, while a petition with the same demand has gathered almost 350,000 signatures.
Another missive from the Polish Business and Science Platform repeats the call for early adoption of the EU’s climate package, or something more ambitious.
“As business leaders we call upon you to swiftly adopt a robust package during your Council negotiations this week so as to send a clear signal to your peers across the globe and most importantly to business leaders and investors doing business in Europe,” the group says.