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.
Poland has some of the worst air quality in the European Union, and 2017 was marked by grassroot efforts to fight smog. It seems that the Polish government is slowly getting on board. Michał Olszewski asks: will Poland cut emissions in time, or will 2018 bring fines from the EU?
Polish politicians have been so focused on saving coal that they’ve gone up against the European Union, but Brussels is beginning to push back. Money from the EU’s modernization fund can no longer be used for coal-related investments. Still, writes Michał Olszewski, the country refuses to modernize its energy sector.
Polish mining is in crisis, but its companies are acting like nothing’s wrong. They are even paying out miners their traditional Barbórka (St Barbara’s day) bonuses. Michał Olszewski finds that despite generous EU funding, Poland does not invest in the future of its energy system.