Poland warns EU withholding funds could endanger climate goals

·1-min read
EU summit in Brussels

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's prime minister warned Brussels on Monday that withholding European Union funds from Warsaw could endanger the achievement of climate goals.

The EU has signalled Poland had to roll back some of its judiciary reforms to unlock access to billions of euros of aid aimed at helping revive economic growth mauled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Poland has called Brussels' demands "blackmail". Speaking to Polish media on the sidelines of the U.N. climate conference https://www.reuters.com/business/cop in Glasgow, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned withholding EU funds could endanger its energy transformation.

The coal industry provides around 70% of the country's energy.

"In order for Poland to be able to participate in a comparable way as other countries in the achievement of ambitious climate goals, we must be provided with appropriate funds," Morawiecki said.

"There can be no blackmail from other elements of European policy, because any attempt to take away funds ... will mean that political blackmail from Brussels dominates over the achievement of climate goals."

Poland could get up to 57 billion euros in EU recovery funds but the executive has been withholding its necessary approval for Warsaw's plan on how to spend it amid protracted and increasingly bitter feuds over democratic standards.

(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Alison Williams)

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