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8 Nov, 2022 13:11

People care more about living standards than climate – EU leader

The green transition is not a top priority for Poles amid a cost-of-living crisis, President Andrzej Duda has said
People care more about living standards than climate – EU leader

Polish people are more concerned about their own living standards than about meeting climate change goals and efforts must be made to make the green transition “cost-effective,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Monday in his address to the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

Amid a looming pan-European energy and cost-of-living crisis this winter, the president said millions of his compatriots are not going to ask how many of its “ambitious climate goals” the government has achieved.

“What they are going to ask, is why the energy resources are so expensive and why their living standards have dropped so dramatically,” he said.

Therefore, in pursuing the interests of climate transition, it is important not to become “climate hypocrites.” Transition “has to be cost-effective and serve energy security,” Duda emphasized.

The energy situation in Poland, the most coal-dependent country in Europe, has been aggravated by an EU embargo on Russian imports, surging gas prices, and Moscow’s decision to cut off natural gas supplies to the country in late April.

The Polish president called for “enhancing pressure on Russia” and stepping up efforts “to become independent of Russian fossil fuels.”

On the same day, the Polish government revealed that it will not only delay plans to close coal mines but will also expand the production of coal, despite it being one of the most polluting industries.