EU leaders agree to 2050 carbon neutrality deal without Poland

epa08067233 EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen (L) and President of the European Council Charles Michel (R) give a press conference at the end of an European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, 13 December 2019 An European Council meeting will be held in Brussels on 12 and 13 December during which the EU27 leaders among other topics will discuss the Brexit and preparations for the negotiations on future EU-UK relations after the withdrawal as well as a revision of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

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After marathon talks in Brussels, the leaders of European Union member states — bar Poland — agreed early Friday to commit to going carbon neutral by 2050.

“We have reached an agreement on climate change, it is very important, it was crucial, for Europe to show strong ambition,” EU Council President Charles Michel said.

The summit was the first since European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled her “European Green Deal” — a plan to overhaul the EU economy and achieve climate neutrality by the middle of the century.

European Summit in Brussels
 EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen (L) and President of the European Council Charles Michel (R) give a press conference at the end of an European Council summit in Brussels, Belgium, 13 December 2019. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

The 2050 goal is a key commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. In order to meet it, EU countries will have to slash carbon emissions generated by fossil fuels and find ways to offset remaining emissions.

Poland, which gets 80% of its power from coal, resisted the plan during hours of intense debate and was ultimately left out of the commitment.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced he had secured an exemption from 2050 climate neutrality but said the bloc had offered generous funding for regions that would be “most affected” by the fossil fuel phaseout.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that Warsaw would now have until a summit in June 2020 to decide whether it can commit to implementing the goal.

Via DW

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