Poland makes Paris ratification conditional on new coal plant development

The Polish government says it will not ratify the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change unless it receives financial guarantees from Brussels for the construction of new coal-fired power generation capacity.

BNE IntelliNews website reports that the Polish government continues to maintain that its energy security is at risk if its coal power capacity is threatened. Poland’s energy mix relies more than 80 per cent on coal.
Belchatow coal-fired power plant
The first agreement in question is the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which binds the EU to limit emissions by 20 per cent against the 1990 levels by 2020. The other is the Paris Agreement adopted late in 2015, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol as the first truly global legal means to reduce emissions.

For the Paris agreement to enter into force, it needs to be ratified by 55 states responsible for at least 55 per cent of global emissions. The EU will join the agreement once each of its 28 member states ratifies it.

The failure to secure Poland in the consensus could undermine the agreement as without Europe the fight to curb climate change loses its main leader, the European Union.

“Poland needs to build new power generation capacity. Coal will remain the basic energy source for years to come, ensuring the country’s energy security as well as jobs,” the government statement reads.

Meanwhile environmental law specialists ClientEarth gave their view on the Polish postion to Power Engineering International.

“Poland won’t be able to meet the commitments set by the Paris Agreement if it continues to develop coal-fired energy. So if Polish officials claim that Poland will ratify the Paris Agreement only when there are financial guarantees for coal-fired power, they are really saying that they may ratify the agreement, but they won’t adhere to it” stated Marcin Stoczkiewicz, senior lawyer and the head of Central & Eastern Europe at ClientEarth."

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