Macron hit out at Poland after the country, along with the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Hungary, blocked a proposed strategy at an EU summit in June for the bloc to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, which means it would absorb the same amount of greenhouse gases it emits.
“The truth is that the country which is blocking everything is Poland,” Macron told French daily Le Parisien while on his way to a climate summit at the United Nations in New York on Monday.
At a news conference in Warsaw on Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hit back by saying: “President Macron’s criticism of Polish climate policy is unfounded.”
He added that Poland’s energy policy and climate policy are "based on common sense" and “involve a significant reduction of our dependence on coal while maintaining security and low energy prices.”
Morawiecki pointed out that under the Kyoto Protocol, Poland was required to reduce CO2 emissions by 6 percent but it has slashed output of greenhouses gases by almost 30 percent over the past 20 years.
Macron on Monday also commented on Friday’s Global Climate Strike, in which millions of young people around the world picketed to protest government inaction on climate change.
The French president said that "marching every Friday to announce that our planet is on fire is nice, but it doesn't solve the problem."
Macron added: "My aim is to get other countries to react to this and to invite young people who are protesting in Europe to put pressure on [Poland]… let them mobilize those whom I cannot."