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Polish lawmakers nix referendum on climate package
by Staff Writers
Warsaw (AFP) June 15, 2012

Polish lawmakers on Friday threw out a proposal by the nationalist right-wing opposition for a referendum on the EU's climate package, as Warsaw blocked a key emissions roadmap related to it.

The referendum motion by the Law and Justice (PiS) party led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski was voted down by 264 lawmakers in the 460-seat lower house, while 148 voted in favour and 17 abstained.

PiS claims the package approved by the EU in 2008 aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions contained regulations "particularly harmful for the Polish economy and for Poland's very existence."

Prime Minister Donald Tusk was staunchly opposed to a referendum, but admitted that the package was "dangerous for any economy based on coal."

Greenhouse gas-emitting coal-fired power stations make up 95 percent of total electricity output in Poland, an ex-communist country that joined the EU in 2004.

Warsaw was keen to have any reference to restrictions on coal use removed from the EU's climate roadmap until 2050, a negotiator in Brussels said on Wednesday.

While Poland accepted the conclusions of the December 2011 climate summit, the EU's Danish presidency said Friday Warsaw has blocked the roadmap for reducing the 27-member EU's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent against the 1990 level in 2030, by 60 percent in 2040, and by 80 percent in 2050.

Poland has insisted it would be premature to set future limits for the EU as nobody knows what will happen in global climate talks.


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