Anna Cichobłazińska talks with the MP Beata Kempa about the initiative of Solidary Poland suspending the climate-energy package

ANNA CICHOBŁAZIŃSKA: – In Poland there is an action of collecting signatures under a declaration suspending the climate-energy package of the European Union. Could you present this civil attitude which may save hundred thousand of workplaces in Poland and warn our home budgets against drastic rises for electricity.

BEATA KEMPA: – Looking at the whole philosophy of the climate-energy package, which assumes a fight against the global warming of the climate and a muzzle which the European Union put on itself, idolizing this philosophy, let’s note that writings of the package can have a negative influence on the economy of many countries, especially such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Belarus, in which generating electricity is based on coal (for example, in Poland it is 92%, and in Czech Republic it is 60%). The problems can also appear in some countries of the old EU, such as Greece and Ireland. Today implementing such restrictive actions of the climate package destroys our economy. It was mentioned by experts during an international conference, which was organised in Katowice by Solidary Poland last November, because the Silesia and labour unions beyond divisions are especially interested in suspending the climate package. Entering the package will cause bankruptcy of many companies, which results in the loss of the minimum 250 thousand workplaces in the energy-intensive industry. Experts estimate that the decrease of the Gross Domestic Product will total 1.5 to 2 per cent, which is catastrophic for our country. Transition to low-emission technologies in the energetic industry according to the requirements of the climate-energy package will cause increased prices of energy for many families doomed to social exclusion, because now the fees for energy exceed financial possibilities of many families struggling with poverty and unemployment.

– Who was the initiator of this European initiative aiming at suspending the climate-energy package?

– EU MPs started discussing about it with the representatives of various fraction within the European Parliament. They managed to gain a consensus and cooperation of such countries as: Denmark, Austria, Lithuania, Belarus, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Great Britain. We decided that application to the European Commission, that is, using this civic device which is given by the provisions of the European Union, will allow for stopping this package. And what later? It can be thought over, renegotiated. But today it is all about stopping it as soon as possible. Hence the name of Action: Stop to the Package! We want this action to be non-partisan, this is a civilian action beyond divisions. The action was joined to by labour unions: ‘Solidarity’ , Nationwide Agreement of Labour Unions and Forum of Labour Unions, where there is a high agreement for the protection of the Polish economy.

– You said that the results of the package would be catastrophic for our economy. Our neighbouring countries where the climate package is not binding, will not miss this favourable occasion.

– Everybody dealing with the strategy of a company estimates costs, including the future costs. Knowing that Poland accepted the conditions of the climate package causing a drastic increase in costs of electricity, which is the basic source setting prices of products, companies will cut expenses. Redundant workers will be first to pay. Another action will be transferring production to such a country where the package is not binding, and there are many such countries all over the world, including the nearest countries next to our eastern boundary. As I have mentioned, about 250 thousand workplaces are endangered.

– What is the cause of the EU actions, in order to be a worldly leader in restricting the emission of greenhouse gas and introducing such restrictive provisions of the climate package, as the emission of this gas by the economies of European countries is only a drop in the sea in comparison with such countries as India, China, Canada or USA?

– If it is not known what it is all about, it is about money. And this is a big business. Let’s note what steps were made towards Poland, when we had undertaken liabilities of the climate package. Being allegedly a philosophy, called a global warming, the whole industry was started in which interests of various countries in the technology sale are intertwined and which are not completely modern. The climate package in the EU is mainly an advantage for the economy of Germany and Denmark, apart from EU – China. Today the sector of the so-called green technologies (windmills, photovoltaics) is constituted by 15% of the gross domestic product of our Western neighbouring countries. Germany is planning to increase the share in the worldly production of this branch from 11 to 15%. It needs export markets which will have to make purchases, because of…….the climate package. We also want to warn Poland against it – against unnecessary investments which will only cause a decrease in the prices of our products and services, and will be very favourable for those who sell modern technologies under the cover of renewable energy.

– That’s it, these concrete windmills growing in our country like mushroom after rain, are a lack of knowledge or a global business which found an absorbent sales market in our country, enforced by the climate package.

– I think that it is the latter one. The global business wants to use the muzzle, which the EU had put on itself. It must be said that this muzzle was put on before the outbreak of the crisis. The crisis forced many countries to reflection. But the truth is that the global industry will be active in business, using legislative omission of our country. We do not have clear provisions protecting our country and concerning the windmills mentioned by you. Farmers decide to sign long-term, often 30-year-old contracts, which in a longer perspective are extremely unfavourable for them. Everything requires balance and reason. We are for a safe, ecologically clean environment, but we must measure the strength of intention. We must agree on such a plan which will not cause a ruin of our economy or generate unemployment.

– You mentioned about renewable sources of energy. And what happens with our geothermal energy or shale gas, which has been discussed so loudly recently.

– We have enormous deposits of natural resources, whose usage would cause decreasing fees for energy in households. We do not have to put a muzzle of the climate package on ourselves. Certainly we must take care of the climate, but not in this way which is suggested by the EU. According to the calculations of experts, geo-thermal energy will make it possible to cover 10% of our demand for warmth. It has the merit that we do not have to subsidize it, like windmills or photovoltaics.

– Let’s return to the European Civilian Initiative ‘Stop to Package!’. Where can we fill in the declaration?

– First of all, on the website Besides the name and surname, Social Security number is necessary. Signatures can be submitted till 1 November 2013. Older people, who do not use Internet, can fill in declarations with the help of their children or grandchildren who have an access to internet. Beside it, we encourage institutions and private people to print the declaration from the website and collect signatures under the declarations. The declarations are available on the area of whole Poland in the offices of Solidary Poland, ‘Solidarity’, Nationwide Agreement of Labour Unions and Forum of Labour Unions which joined the action ‘Stop to Package’. Our volunteers are going to collect them in the streets of our towns and cities. We encourage everybody who want to help Poland, to print the declarations and collect signatures. We must only fill in the declarations carefully, because the European Commission will be checking them.

– Is it already known, how many signatures have been collected?

– In the very Poland over 300 thousand signatures have been collected. As I mentioned, 1 million of them is needed in at least 7 EU countries, in order to submit the European Civilian Initiative in the European Commission. However, we will be collecting signatures till the end, that it, till 1 November, so as to present European Commission the opposition of the Polish society against the assumptions of the climate package.


"Niedziela" 18/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
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