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New EU climate policy unlikely before 2015: Poland

The European Union is unlikely to hammer out its new policy on global warming ahead of a global climate deal that could be clinched in 2015, Poland's environment minister said Wednesday.

"A long discussion on climate change is getting underway. There's no chance that new measures will be adopted during the current terms of the European Parliament and the European Commission," minister Marcin Korolec told Poland's PAP news agency.

In its efforts to reduce global warming, the international community is to draw up new, universal climate pact by 2015, which should come into effect by 2020.

Korolec's comments come after UN climate chief Christiana Figueres warned last week that the world had entered a "new danger zone", with record levels of Earth-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Korolec believes Brussels could soon propose cutting EU fossil fuel imports by 30 percent by 2030, and back production of electric cars.

The 27-member EU -- struggling to overcome recession sparked by the eurozone's lumbering debt crisis -- should also ban costly and inefficient energy subsidies as a means of forcing the development of new, economically viable, power solutions, he said.

Korolec also slammed a European Commission proposal to freeze a portion of carbon emission quotas under the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) in order to drive up the price of those on the market.

"It raises doubts when the European Commission itself proposes to intervene in a market system which it set up in the first place," he said.

"Poland has opposed this from the start and I'm confident that the European Parliament will reject it again," he added.

The parliament refused to raise the price on greenhouse gas emission quotas in April to avoid further burdening heavy industries in Europe already feeling the effects of the eurozone crisis.

The European Commission revealed last week that the EU's emissions were down 2.0 percent in 2012, reflecting the economic slowdown.

The ETS covers more than 12,000 power plants and manufacturing installations across the EU plus Norway and Liechtenstein, according to the Commission.

It is a key part of EU efforts to reduce its CO2 emissions by some 20 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.