December 13, 2019 / 1:17 AM / 2 months ago

Poland needs transition money details before 2050 climate pledge

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Poland needs information on how much money it can expect from the EU to support its energy transition before signing up for the EU’s goal of being climate neutral in 2050, the head of the European Commission said.

All EU countries except Poland endorsed on Thursday the 2050 date by which Europe is to be the first continent that is neutral in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

Poland, which is almost completely dependent on coal for its energy needs, will return to discussions with the EU on moving to more sustainable sources in June 2020. The Commission publishes in January its proposal for a Just Transition Fund that would help finance the shift.

“I accept completely that it is necessary for Poland to have a closer look at our proposal of the Just Transition Fund,” Commission head Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference.

“It is acceptable for a country that has to come a long way and that has regions that are really coal-dependent. So we acknowledge that the transition is a big one for Poland,” she said.

“The country has to step up, it needs more time to go through the details, but this will not change the time frame or the time setting for the Commission,” she said.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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