EU & ENVIRONMENT: Climate Change is an Emergency, but Not All States Might Afford to Fight It 🇪🇺

by our contributor Thinkingfox

In the picture, the Belchatow Power Station coal plant located near Belchatow, Poland. Credits: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

In a period when many states world-wide are detaching themselves from climate agreements, the European Union seems to have found a right path to follow.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, believes that the Green Deal, presented to the European Parliament on December 11th, is “Europe’s man on the moon moment.” The aim is to agree on policies that will allow EU states to be ‘climate neutral’ by 2050.

Among many proposals, there is a common EU Climate Law, a target of net-zero carbon, and a reduction of CO2 emissions by more than a half. This deal strengthens the EU under many points of view, especially under the economic and social aspect.

As a matter of fact, the EU’s economy could compete with China’s moves towards sustainability. And, EU states will also be able to account for citizens’ increasing awareness about climate change. However, the Green Deal has also added political instability to the already-unstable situation caused by Brexit on the corner. Some states, like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, have opposed the deal as their economies are very dependent on coal energy.

Credits: RiEnergia Database

Probably, it will be very difficult for them to keep pace with the Western European states, which are already a step forward in terms of recycling, waste disposal, and alternative sources of energy.

The case of Poland is very interesting, because Poland has been under pressure from the EU to reduce the share of coal in electricity production, and it has been seeking a nuclear power plant for years. Although von der Leyen proposed to increase EU’s budget from 165.8 billion euros to 265.8 billion euros to help energy transition, the budget that will be assigned to help Poland, as well as the other states, does not meet the proposals on the necessary budget per year made by the respective national economic institutes.

• Will the EU Green Deal contribute to reduce economic instability that Brexit might cause?
• Is the EU Green Deal really accounting for the needs of European states and citizens?
• Are Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic opposing the deal solely because it is not enough to help them with energy transition?


Suggested Readings

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-12-12/poland-hungary-and-czechs-are-right-to-fear-the-eu-s-green-deal

https://www.politico.eu/article/the-commissions-green-deal-plan-unveiled/

https://www.wired.it/attualita/ambiente/2019/12/11/green-deal-ursula-von-der-leyen-piano-clima/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-nuclearpower/poland-expects-first-nuclear-power-plant-to-start-in-2033-idUSKCN1NS1DB

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