Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Linking EU Climate and Energy Policies

Decision-making, Implementation and Reform

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Jon Birger Skjærseth, Per Ove Eikeland, Lars H. Gulbrandsen and Torbjørg Jevnaker

Based on an innovative theoretical framework combining theories of EU policy making, negotiation and implementation, this comprehensive book examines EU climate and energy policies from the early 1990s until the adoption of new policies for 2030. The authors investigate how the linking of climate and energy concerns in policy packages has facilitated agreement among EU leaders with very different policy ambitions. Employing in-depth studies from a diverse range of energy-economic countries, the book also explores the impact of the implementation of policies on the climate and energy policy framework and the Energy Union initiative.

Chapter 7: Implementation in Poland

Jon Birger Skjærseth

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


Because unanimity is required on new long-term climate- and energypolicy goals, the relationship between Poland and the EU is crucial. This chapter examines Poland’s implementation of the EU climate and energy-policy package to attain 2020 goals: the extent to which and how these policies have been implemented to date, why and with what consequences for Poland’s positions on new EU climate policies. Indigenous coal accounts for nearly 90 per cent of the country’s electricity production and 50 per cent of its total CO2 emissions. A first observation is that there have been significant implementation problems concerning Poland and the ETS, RES and CCS Directives. The EU package cannot be said to have been a ‘game-changer’ – Poland has mainly opposed the package, or absorbed it to make it fit with existing policies and energy mix. Secondly, implementation challenges arise from EU adaptation pressure and ‘misfit’ with national policies, negotiating position and energy mix. Domestic politics has also proved important: continued governmental prioritization of coal, opposition to climate policy by state-owned energy groups, privileged access to decisionmaking for these groups and fragmented administrative organization. Moreover, poor experiences with implementation have made Poland increasingly resistant to long-term EU policies, as partly reflected in the new 2030 climate- and energy-policy framework adopted by the European Council in October 2014. Still, there are some signs of changes that may drive Poland towards a ‘greener’ pathway in the future.

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