As European leaders meet today to discuss Europe’s next energy and climate framework, Poland is again poised to delay or block efforts to agree a 2030 climate target. But new research conducted by the NGO Sandbag finds that Poland has consistently gained preferential access to greenhouse gas emissions rights under preceding climate targets, and this has allowed Poland to keep growing its emissions while profiting from the sale of spare carbon allowances.
The research shows that Poland’s carbon budgets over the eight years of 2013-2020 are, on average, 3% higher than its estimated emissions in 2012. This follows from a five year Kyoto budget (2008-2012) in which Poland was allowed it to grow its emissions by 44% relative to 2002 when it ratified the agreement. At the end of 2012 this has left Poland holding 679 million spare carbon allowances: equivalent to almost double its annual emissions.