Open Letter of the Member of the European Parliament Jadwiga Wiśniewska

Jadwiga Wiśniewska

Member of the European Parliament
Member of the Committee on Environmental Protection, Public Health and Food Safety specializes in climate policy

The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), which will take place in December in Katowice, is the most important event on international climate negotiations this year. This summit is particularly important because the world leaders are to make decisions there regarding the selection of specific tools which would assess the implementation of the Paris Agreement commitments and the Talanoa Dialogue. They also plan to assess the possibility of a potential increase in commitments in the future, after 2023. The outcome of these talks will determine the future of the whole global climate policy.

That is why it is extremely important that we prepare for COP24 as best as possible. The Social PRE_COP2 Conference entitled "Polish Way to a Clean Environment" is an extremely valuable initiative. It allows Polish experts, representatives of the social partners and entrepreneurs to present their proposals and demands regarding the future of climate change policy on the European Union forum.

At the climate summit in Katowice, we should present a position which takes into account the specifics of the Polish energy mix in which coal plays an important role.
In Poland, this raw material will continue to be the main fuel for the power industry and the guarantor of energy security for a long time to come. Meanwhile, the European Parliament keeps pushing for the idea of ​​decarbonisation and is aiming at tightening the EU climate policy, believing that the commitments adopted in 2015 at the Paris Conference are not restrictive enough and that Europe could do better.

This position was reflected in the draft resolution on COP24 which was prepared by the EP's Environment Committee. Unfortunately, in the course of the works, a request was made calling for the European Commission to present a strategy for achieving zero-carbon economy by 2050. Due to the fact that this demand does not take into account the economic and social realities of individual Member States, I decided not to support this resolution with my name. The implementation of such a scenario would be disastrous for Poland.

I believe that when formulating global climate policy actions, we should take into account not only their environmental but also economic and social aspects. Taking into account these three dimensions will allow us to effectively counteract climate change and protect water, air, soil and biodiversity. At the same time it will make it possible to preserve the competitiveness of industry and jobs and will allow us to prevent the expansion of the energy poverty sphere.