Polish PM vows to fight 'pseudo-green' EU plan to ban petrol cars
Poland’s Prime Minister has vowed to do “anything” to win the fight against a “pseudo-green” European Union ban on petrol and diesel engines.
Brussels plans to outlaw the sale of new petrol and diesel engines from 2035 through a ban on tailpipe emissions as part of its net zero plans.
“The ban on the sale of combustion cars after 2035 is unacceptable for the government,” Mateusz Morawiecki said. “We will do anything to protect Polish families against another pseudo-green idea by rich countries and bureaucrats from Brussels.”
Mr Morawiecki said that his Law and Justice party supported climate action in Poland.
But he added: “Not if its targets are set during backstage negotiations against the will and interests of millions of Europeans, including Poles.”
His government argues the ban would be expensive for families and hurt Polish firms producing car components for well-known global brands.
Germany won a carve-out from the ban for internal combustion engines running on greener e-fuels this week and now backs the amended law.
That has left Poland as the only EU country openly opposing the green law. Warsaw voted against the ban, while Bulgaria, Romania and Italy abstained.
But now that Berlin backs the EU ban, and the regulation has been amended, it will be almost impossible for Warsaw to prevent it becoming law.
The watering down of the ban raised questions over a similar British ban, which takes effect in 2030 but allows hybrid vehicles until 2035, and a potential loophole in Northern Ireland, which will have to follow the EU ban, unless it is blocked by Stormont.
Mr Morawiecki’s pledge to oppose the EU ban came as Law and Justice launched its campaign for parliamentary elections in autumn.
Poland has often found itself at odds with the EU over climate change legislation, as it looked to protect its coal industry over the years.
Miners have totemic status in a country where they were pivotal in the Solidarity protests against Poland’s then-communist government.
Mr Morawiecki has locked horns with the European Commission over accusations of sliding democratic standards, a crackdown on gay rights, and a Constitutional Court ruling questioning the supremacy of EU law in Poland.
Brussels is withholding billions in coronavirus recovery funds, amid the disputes, which have been played down for fear of exposing EU divisions after the invasion of Ukraine.
In a speech on the future of Europe earlier this month, Mr Morawiecki called for a repatriation of national powers from Brussels to make the EU “more democratic”.
“We share common values, but each nation has its own identity,” he said in the flagship speech in Germany.