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Poland succeeds at the EU Environment Council meeting

Polish delegation headed by the Minister of Environment Henryk Kowalczyk and Vice-Minister Sławomir Mazurek attended a meeting of the Council of the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg.

The attendees of the Council meeting negotiated the content of the conclusions on climate change, which will specify the position of the EU during the upcoming COP24 Summit in Katowice. After difficult negotiations, the conclusions were finally adopted with some amendments taking into account the interests of Poland.

In his position presented during the meeting regarding the EU conclusions, the Minister highlighted the need to adopt provisions that will contribute to reaching consensus by the entire international community at COP24.

Referring to the discussion on the level of reduction targets, Minister Kowalczyk reminded that COP24 will feature the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue, the aim of which will be to summarise the global efforts made so far to curb climate change.

“We should first learn the conclusions of the discussions at COP24, and only then declare any possible future commitments. Our policy should be first and foremost for the people,” he stressed.

“Before making any commitments suggesting our willingness to increase our level of ambition, we should make a reliable and evidence-based analysis of the degree of implementation of the current declarations and a realistic assessment of our future capabilities,” he added.

CO2 emission standards for cars

After lengthy discussions, the ministers agreed on the EU Council’s position, which will constitute a basis for negotiations with the European Parliament on a draft regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles.

Presenting the Polish position, Minister Henryk Kowalczyk stressed that Poland fully supports the objective of the European Commission’s proposal, which is reducing the CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles, but he also pointed out the problems that may be caused by excessive ambitions.

“The text of the compromises in the Regulation should take into account the specificities of transport in the various EU Member States,” stated Minister Henryk Kowalczyk.

“Clean Air” Programme

Minister Kowalczyk presented information on the government’s “Clean Air” Programme to the EU Environment Council. He pointed out the scale of the programme, which considers the economic conditions of families and results in significant benefits of its implementation for society and the environment.

Polish delegation at the 2nd Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting

Minister of the Environment Henryk Kowalczyk and Deputy Minister Sławomir Mazurek also attended the 2nd Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on environment and climate change held in parallel to the meeting of the Environment Council.

The discussion focused on a summary of the implementation of the provisions of the Ministerial Declaration of 2016, which provided for joint actions in the area of the environment, taking into account the obligations arising from the global agenda, such as the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The ministers also discussed the three key areas of cooperation: action regarding circular economy, global progress and directions of work carried out under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

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