Poland isolated in EU low-carbon debate
* Warsaw says carbon cuts could hamper its growth
* Other EU countries call for new rules up to 2030
WARSAW, June 15 (Reuters) - Coal-reliant Poland prevented European Union governments from speaking with a single voice in the bloc's debate on a low-carbon energy future on Friday, saying proposed regulations may hamper the country's long-term economic growth.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU energy ministers debated an energy 2050 road map published by the bloc's executive in December, which sets out the route towards almost zero carbon power generation by the middle of the century.
Poland has repeatedly objected to any language in EU texts pointing towards deeper carbon cuts to guide decision-making for the years following 2020, when the EU is set to meet a binding target of a 20 percent emissions cut from 1990 levels.
Ministers from 26 EU member countries backed a resolution calling on the European Commission to propose a new policy framework for low-carbon energy up to 2030, but Poland was the only country to oppose the move.
"Poland cannot accept regulations concerning reduction targets after 2020 without reaching a global agreement on climate issues, and technologies reducing emissions at industrial scale are not implemented," a statement from the country's economy ministry said.
The country's reservations concerned the EU's decarbonisation objective, as well as a call for "robust and adequate" carbon pricing, which in its opinion could be seen as an encouragement to artificial support of CO2 emission prices.
Carbon prices on the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme have fallen to record lows below 7 euros ($8.80) per tonne in recent months, while analysts say prices of 20 to 50 euros are necessary to spur investment in low-carbon energy.
A spokesman for the Danish EU presidency said Poland's opposition to the resolution would not prevent the bloc from pressing ahead with its low-carbon plans.
"The resolution was supported by 26 EU countries, and that is a clear signal to the Commission that it can start working on legislative proposals for 2030," the spokesman said.
Poland has, however, expressed support for the EU's drive to increase energy efficiency. The European Union reached agreement on Thursday on a law to require governments and utilities to improve energy efficiency and lower the bloc's consumption of fuel. (Reporting by Maciej Onoszko in Warsaw, additional reporting by Charlie Dunmore in Brussels; editing by James Jukwey)
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