Three eastern European countries, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic together refused to cooperate with the European Union’s (EU) recent decision for climate neutrality by 2050. These countries warned that they would stop committing toward the decision if the big leaders of the EU, especially Germany and France, are not extending their economic assistance to them.
The EU’s Policy for Climate Neutrality
European countries have been actively involved in addressing global climate change issues and had taken several initiatives for implementing policies for sustainable development.
Leaders from the 27 EU’s countries will be participating in a meeting at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels (Belgium), to start talks on climate-related issues. All the EU leaders are likely to agree on the policy of zero-greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, except these three countries.
Over many years, several environment-based NGOs and activists were pressuring the EU leaders to implement rigorous policies about climate change.
As one of the EU’s executives reported, “With floods, fires and droughts wrecking lives around the world, Greenpeace climate activists climbed the Brussels building where the leaders were to meet, unfurling banners reading “Climate Emergency”, firing off red flares and blaring fire alarm sirens.”
Needs Economic Assistance to Abide by the Policy
EU’s new environment policy was considered as Europe’s “man on the moon” moment. However, the eastern countries are likely to persuade others to provide more funding in order for them to extend their cooperation to abide by the new policy.
As reported by Reuters, “The eastern countries want more money to fund a transition to a future of lower emissions, including a role for nuclear power which emits no carbon but which Germany and others aim to phase out.”
According to the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, “We have to have electricity for people, for firms, and heating. And that is the priority and I will see. I don’t rule out anything.”
Babis further emphasized that the country would build nuclear power units without listening to the direction given by the EU. A senior diplomat explored, “For us, it definitely does not go far enough. Both in terms of nuclear, but also on burden-sharing and financial support.”
The Budget for the New Environmental Policy
The EU’s new Chief Executive explained that the new climate policy would mobilize around 100 billion Euros that would help transform the countries’ economies and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.
Referring to the limited budget, a senior EU diplomat commented, “There will certainly be an amount of arm-wrestling and there will have to be new money… but some member states will be less than enthusiastic about the target of raising 100 billion euros.”
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