EU climate laws ‘threatened by Eastern Europe’

The EU’s climate laws could be undermined by a mutiny from Poland and the Czech Republic. That’s according to documents seen by news website Climate Home, which says the Eastern-European states […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The EU’s climate laws could be undermined by a mutiny from Poland and the Czech Republic.

That’s according to documents seen by news website Climate Home, which says the Eastern-European states are diluting rules supposed to guide Europe towards the carbon reduction targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Europe agreed to reduce its emissions by 40% before 2030, mostly by revising existing climate laws on renewables, energy efficiency and its Emissions Trading System.

The publication suggests the two nations are attempting to block or water down a significant proportion of these goals.

Energy efficiency is expected to carry half of the EU’s emissions reductions but a Czech proposal could cut savings obligations from 1.5% to just 0.35% in practice.

Poland has also reportedly launched a move that could block the EU’s winter package in its entirety if it is signed up to by a third of EU parliaments.

The EU is now expected to deliver a compromise – the effect this could have has raised concerns among those who wish to see Europe maintain its leadership on climate action.

Claude Turmes, the European Lead Negotiator on Climate Governance, said: “We cannot allow backward looking east EU states to destroy the EU’s credibility on the Paris Agreement.

“A successful and ambitious energy transition is one of the few remaining positive stories for Europe. If we allow that to be drained by vested old interests from east Europe, our international credibility and the last remaining trust of our citizens will be smashed.”

Donald Trump has also backtracked on climate change agreements.