EU – minus Poland – agrees to carbon neutral 2050 target
All but one of the countries of the European Union made a commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
It was not exactly the outcome intended by the new President of the European Council, who was unable to overcome Poland’s resistance and find a recipe for a political agreement approved unanimously. But that did not stop Charles Michel from proclaiming victory.
“The decision we made was very important because it sends a strong message that Europe wants to be the first climate neutral continent in 2050,” he said.
At a press conference early in the morning in Brussels, the President of the Council claimed the outcome as a success, insisting that there is no disagreement between partners on the need to combat climate change, nor any opposition to the measures proposed to promote the transition to a new green paradigm in the European Union. That is a goal everyone shares, he said, describing the disagreement with Poland’s as a matter of “implementation.”
After nearly nine hours of negotiation leaders were forced to add a new paragraph to the draft conclusions which had been prepared in advance to accommodate the objections raised by Poland.
On the way out, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki justified his position. Poland, he explained, will reduce CO2 emissions and meet the carbon neutral target “at its own pace” .
“What I can guarantee is that we will make this transformation safely and economically sustainable for our country,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the result “a breakthrough.”
“Under the circumstances, I’m even satisfied. There is really no division between the different parts of Europe, what we have is a member state that needs a little more time to reflect on how this can all be implemented. When we revisit the issue in June, we will already have legislative proposals from the Commission, and I think that there will be a better chance of success, ” she said.