Poland Ready For Showdown With EU Over Climate Change As Trump Sends 74,000 Tonnes Of Coal
Poland is on a collision course with EU chiefs over its continued heavy use of fossil fuels, as the country prepares to receive its first shipment of US coal.
And that could set the scene for more stand-offs next year, when Poland hosts the next round of UN climate talks.
The EU is playing a leading role in the Paris climate accord, which aims to radically cut global carbon emissions.
But Poland, the EU’s biggest coal burning nation, is at odds with Brussels over the targets.
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło is a fossil fuel advocate whose father was a miner
Poland has taken the President – who wants to exit the Paris agreement – at his word. This week The Navios Helios, a vessel carrying a 73,616 tonne coal shipment for Weglokoks from Baltimore, is expected to enter the harbour in Gdansk.
The new trade arrangement is mutually beneficial – Poland has to meet a shortfall left by the failure of national mining giant PGG to achieve its production targets, while US miners are relying on export growth as power utilities at home switch to cheaper, cleaner alternatives.
Poland is the biggest coal burning member of the EU
He told reporters: “A psychosis related to coal shortages has appeared on the market.
“I can say that this winter no one will be cold in their homes because of a lack of coal.”
He declined to comment on the US import.
Meanwhile, EU ministers are meeting in Bonn today, where they are expected to tell Poland to “do more” on climate change – particularly by ratifying the Doha amendment, the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol, predecessor of the 2015 Paris agreement.
The timing of Warsaw’s new-found fondness for American coal will be a concern to Brussels and the UN as a whole.
Polish imports of US coal have already leapt more than 500 per cent in the first half of this year, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
However, while Trump has decided to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement, Warsaw is staying in.
The government of Silesian-born miner’s daughter Szydlo has opposed EU policies to reduce carbon emissions as they set binding targets, but backs the Paris deal as it did not impose specific obligations on signatories.