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Green transition cannot come at cost of Europe's security: Polish PM

05.07.2022 09:30
Europe's green energy transition cannot come at the cost of the continent's security, the Polish prime minister has said, amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Mateusz Morawiecki
Mateusz MorawieckiAdam Guz/KPRM/ Twitter/@PremierRP

"Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine has cast a shadow over the dreams shared by hundreds of millions of Europeans of building a secure and prosperous future based on sustainable and equitable development," Mateusz Morawiecki said in an opinion piece published by the Financial Times.

"Regaining stability and achieving decent living conditions for the people of Europe now requires abandoning some important assumptions, especially where energy policy is concerned," he added.

"Simply put, we are witnessing the formation of a new energy order in both Europe and the wider world," Morawiecki argued. "And in this new order we must be able to balance many different interests."

He also said: "Until recently, the EU’s energy policy was concerned solely with climate change. Today, other member states agree with Poland, which has long emphasised the need to diversify energy sources, build up gas reserves and wean ourselves off Russian fossil fuels. In addition to climate protection, the energy security of countries is now paramount."

Morawiecki warned in his piece that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s "energy blackmail and the war in Ukraine are already contributing to a significant increase in electricity prices, and a significant increase in inflation."

He also argued that Europe "has a very important lesson to learn" and "must drastically reduce the costs of CO₂ emission allowances, which are a decisive factor in energy prices and which have risen considerably in recent years."

"Rather than stimulating the development of green energy, the current Emissions Trading System (ETS) drives inflation and threatens to send millions of citizens into fuel poverty," Morawiecki said in his opinion piece.

He added that "the Polish proposal is to freeze the price of CO₂ emission allowances at €30 for at least one year, with the possibility of extending it for two."

"The green transition cannot come at the cost of basic security," Morawiecki warned.

"And if the situation forces us to do so, then we must not hesitate to return temporarily to traditional sources of energy," he added.

"Even if a short-term return to coal means postponing our ambitious climate goals, it may be a necessary condition of maintaining a strong European community capable of resisting Russia and supporting Ukraine," Morawiecki concluded.


Source: PAP, ft.com