Poland wins Fossil of the Day Award at the Bonn climate summit

Climate action

On the second day of this year’s UN climate summit in Bonn, Poland won the second place of the shameful Fossil of the Day Award. The dubious award was handed down to Poland, the host of the next UN climate summit in 2018, for working day and night to turn the EU’s carbon market into potentially the largest coal subsidy scheme in history.

On 8 November, EU lawmakers are expected to reach an agreement on the redesign of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – a policy to curb carbon emissions in the industry and power sectors for the coming decade. Management of the ETS funds – designed to clean up energy systems of poorer EU countries but currently misused to subsidise fossil fuels – remains the last sticking point in the negotiations.

Joanna Flisowska, CAN Europe Coal Policy Coordinator said:

“The Polish government has been running a protracted and bitter campaign to sabotage the integrity of the EU’s carbon market. It has put relentless efforts to allow the ETS to subsidise Polish coal plants instead of making them pay for their pollution. It is propping its harmful and outdated coal industry at the expense of its citizens.

Polish people deserve better than the actions the current government is taking. The ETS funds need to be shifted to renewable energy and energy savings, which can deliver a safer climate, warm homes, clean air, and local green jobs.

If the EU is serious about its commitments under the Paris Agreement, it must not bend to the Polish government’s demands. The European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament must put end to subsidizing coal through the ETS funds. To keep the Paris Agreement goals within reach, all coal plants have to be closed by 2030 the latest and halting coal subsidies is the crucial first step.”

The Polish government advocates against any measures that would exclude coal from the ETS funds, while at the same time asking for their increase. If these demands were to be met, the funds could be worth up to a staggering 35bn EUR (Sandbag, 2017, link here). This would make the ETS funds the largest coal subsidy scheme in the history of Europe.


Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, ania@caneurope.org, +32 494 525 738

Joanna Flisowska, CAN Europe Coal Policy Coordinator, joanna@caneurope.org, +48 698 693 170


About the Fossil of the Day awards: During United Nations climate change negotiations, members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their ‘best’ to block progress in the negotiations or in the implementation of the Paris Agreement http://www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 140 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.