It has not been a good year for Polish environmental policy; but, fortunately, it has also not been a total waste. Marked by the inertia and stubbornness of a government that, flying in the face of expert opinion, is imposing punishing and economically unsound ideas, it does seem as though some energy progress is being made, both as the government changes direction and as more citizens take matters into their own hands. Our Polish correspondent, Michał Olszewski, takes a look.
Though in October, Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice (PiS) party narrowly won a second term in office, its power was weakened after it lost control of the upper house of Parliament and failed to increase its majority in the more powerful lower chamber. Now one wonders if Poland is finally about to get serious about addressing the climate crisis? Following Mateusz Morawiecki’s first speech to Parliament as prime minister and his initial decisions, is a breakthrough in the nation’s position on the environment coming? Our Polish correspondent, Michal Olszewski, takes a look.
The Polish Church should join the conversation on ecology. It is not, as many church leaders believe, another threat to Christianity, but one of our greatest civilisational challenges. Michał Olszewski reports
Recent months have brought a series of signs of change on the horizon of Polish climate politics – some clearer than others. It is negligible how much such change is being forced by external circumstances and how much stems from genuine reflection. The climate crisis and its consequences are now so clear that the most hardened climate sceptics have been silenced. It is too soon to speak of an environmental breakthrough in Poland, but one can no longer definitively say that the right-wing remains completely indifferent to the ubiquitous signs of crisis. Michał Olszewski summarises the development.
A summary of the Polish power industry in 2018 gives no apparent reason for optimism. But appearances can be deceiving: there is a flicker of light on the horizon. The only question is whether it is not appearing too late, says Michał Olszewski.
Poland’s energy supply is still based on fossil energy. The dream of expanding renewable energies has been bursting over and over again in the recent years. Michał Olszewski reports on political mistakes and a poor energy strategy.
2018 saw temperatures, natural disasters and CO2 emissions hit record highs. Meanwhile, our world leaders are procrastinating, says Michał Olszewski.
Poland has seen relatively low electricity prices in recent years. While prices have been growing for our neighbours (e.g. Germany), Poland has managed to keep them fairly flat. However, all the signs are that this state of affairs is about to end, writes Michał Olszewski.
Recent announcements by the Polish government are unambiguous: the Polish power industry will continue to be based on coal. But unless the energy industry transitions to renewables, Poland will face shortages, Michał Olszewski warns.
Michał Olszewski sees the Polish hosts of the upcoming COP24 as afraid of open debate: new legislation gives the police broad powers, including surveillance of attendees.