COP24 - what next with the climate policy in the EU?


The practical impact of the climate summit agreements on EU and Polish policy is rarely appreciated. Meanwhile, climate policy will be an important point of reference in discussions on integrated national plans, national long-term strategies, or when setting the financial framework for 2021-2027. What are the conclusions of COP24 and, above all, what to expect this year?

Global agreements already affect, among other things, the deadlines for revising EU directives and regulations in the area of climate and energy. Low-carbon directions of development of economies set at the global level will also determine the financing of new investments at the EU level - says Lidia Wojtal, the author of the report. According to the Paris Agreement, the reduction targets will only increase. At least every 5 years, because this is the time between revisions of climate targets, we can expect an increase in costs for high-carbon policies - she adds.

The year 2019 is the year of the Polish Presidency of COP24 and, at the same time, important discussions on climate objectives at the forum of the European Union. The EU will continue to pursue the decarbonisation scenario in all sectors. This is confirmed by the EU climate and energy legislation already adopted, the reviews of which are tailored to the global 5-year cycles of the Global Review under the Paris Agreement. After each such a review, the EU target, and therefore the Polish target, will be increased. Negotiating long-term benefits for Poland will therefore require going beyond the current approach to climate and energy policy.  

In view of the UN Secretary-General's climate summit in September 2019, discussions are expected in the first half of 2019 in the Environment Council and the European Council on increasing the EU's reduction target under the Paris Agreement from -40% to -45% by 2030. Indeed, this decision has already been taken by increasing the objectives of EE and RES.

Preparations for the UN General Assembly will allow Poland to continue the initiatives announced at COP24 (fair transformation, electromobility, forests) and facilitate the acquisition of funds (global and EU) for the implementation of projects in these areas.  Support in this process may be an appropriate plan of possible investments and projects, as well as supporting diplomatic and promotional activities.

In 2019 The European Council will adopt the EU's long-term strategy up to 2050. This will be preceded by discussions in sectoral councils and, possibly on 9 May, the issuing of guidelines for the final form of the strategy by the European Council. Poland can prepare for this process through:

  • including the 2050 horizon in the Poland's Energy Policy until 2040 (PEP), as well as the objectives of the Paris Agreement and current and planned EU emission reduction targets.
  • agreeing by the end of 2019 internally and with Brussels on an integrated national energy and climate plan to take account of decarbonisation targets.

In negotiations on this budget, Poland should signal its willingness to invest in accordance with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Thus, by 2019 at the latest, Poland should start developing its own national plan for low-carbon investments. It should be consistent with the PEP, the long-term strategy and the integrated national plan. Such an approach will increase the chances of obtaining funding for national projects and reduce the costs of the inevitable energy transformation. 


Title of the study: "COP24 - what next with climate policy in the EU?
Date of publication: January 2019
Author: Lidia Wojtal

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