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Poland insistent on climate deal ratification conditions

The Polish government will not consent to a fast-track EU ratification of the Paris climate deal unless Brussels allows for the country’s special dependency on coal power.

In a letter seen by the FT, Polish environment minister Jan Szyszko told his EU counterparts on Monday that coal was “the foundation” of his country’s development. Warsaw would only support formal approval of the Paris agreement “on terms that take into account the specificity of the Polish economy”.
Polish environment minister Jan Szyszko
85 per cent of Poland’s economy was powered by coal in 2013.

The Warsaw position raises the possibility that the European Union will be unable to add its name to the global deal.

EU environment ministers meet on Friday to discuss a plan to accelerate the bloc’s ratification of the accord without waiting for each of its 28 member countries to do this individually.

The UN deal to curb global greenhouse gases responsible for climate change can only take effect after 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions formally join or ratify it.

So far 61 nations with a 47.8 per cent share of emissions have done so, including the world’s two largest carbon polluters, China and the US. India is to follow suit next week.

The EU’s commitment is significant as it has a 12 per cent share of emissions so its ratification would easily push the Paris agreement over the line.

The Paris agreement, adopted by virtually every country in the world in December, aims to hold the rise in global temperatures to “well below” 2C from levels before the industrial revolution and pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5C.