Implementing EU Climate and Energy Policies in Poland: From Europeanization to Polonization?

FNI Report 8/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 57 p.

This report examines Poland’s implementation of the EU climate and energy policy package to attain 2020 goals: the extent to which and how these policies have been implemented to date, why and with what consequences for Poland’s positions on new EU climate policies. Because unanimity is required on new long-term climate and energy policy goals, the relationship between the EU and Poland is crucial. Indigenous coal accounts for nearly 90% of the country’s electricity production and 50% of its total CO2 emissions. The first observation is that there have been significant implementation problems concerning the ETS, RES and CCS Directives. The EU package cannot be said to have been a ‘game changer’ – Poland has mainly opposed and absorbed the package to make it fit with existing policies and energy mix. Second, implementation challenges arise from EU adaptation pressure and ‘misfit’ with national policies, negotiating position and energy mix.  Domestic politics has also proved important: The consistency in governmental prioritization of coal, opposition to climate policy by state-owned energy groups and privileged access to decision making for these groups. Moreover, lack of willingness, ability and opportunities at the national level to transform the linking of various policies and issues that promoted EU level agreement has made Poland increasingly resistant to long-term EU policies. This is partly reflected in the new 2030 climate and energy policy framework adopted by the European Council in October 2014.  Still, there are some signs of changes that may drive Poland towards a ‘greener’ pathway in the future.



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