To make Europe the first climate-neutral continent, EU leaders have backed plans of the climate agreement that envisages carbon emissions reduced to zero by 2050.
The goal is in line with the one of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Poland, however, rejected the deal, complaining it gets 80% of its power from coal. The country had pushed for a climate neutrality date of 2070.
“Poland will be reaching climate neutrality at its own pace”, said Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who described the negotiations as “very difficult”.
“We acknowledge that the transition is a big one for Poland. It needs more time to go through the details, but this will not change the timeframe for the commission”, said Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission.
The Czech Republic and Hungary were also against the agreement, but eventually joined after being guaranteed that nuclear energy would be recognised as a way for EU states to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
“There is no splitting of Europe into separate parts but one member state needing more time to see how it will be implemented”, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stressing that she was satisfied with the outcome.