Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, has harshly criticised the latest EU policies to cut emissions in the bloc, as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package. Kaczynski branded these measures as nothing more than “green communism” and “left liberal” ideological dogmatism. Indeed, as the EU’s and national governments’ climate impositions become more and more radical, the reaction from conservatives is becoming more vocal, seeking to defend the traditional European way of life, as well as crucial economic sectors like agriculture and industry who will be vulnerable to these dogmatic ‘green’ policies imposed by armchair environmentalists who have no stake in the fortunes of Europe’s productive sectors.
Last week, the European Parliament voted to approve three key pieces of legislation from the Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ package introduced in 2021. The overarching goal of ‘Fit for 55’ is putting in place legislative measures so that the EU can reach its climate neutrality goals of reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The three pieces of legislation approved last week, which were the deals reached between Parliament and the member states as part of joint decision-making, comprise a reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), the creation of a new carbon leakage instrument, and the creation of a Social Climate Fund to combat energy poverty.
The reform of the ETS makes this “polluter pays” system more ambitious, mandating a 62% cut for all ETS sectors by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. Furthermore, it will phase out free allowances to companies from 2026 to 2034. Additionally, greenhouse gases from the maritime sector will be introduced into ETS for the first time, while aviation ETS will be reformed. But perhaps most importantly, the legislation will create a new ETS II for fuel for road transport and buildings, whereby a price will be imposed on greenhouse emissions from this sector from 2027, while at the request of Parliament, this will also be applied to the manufacturing industry.
The Parliament also approved the creation of a new EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), with the goal of incentivising non-EU countries to increase their climate ambition and ensure that EU and global climate efforts aren’t undermined by relocation of production to countries with more lax climate regulations. CBMA will be phased in from 2026, and will cover goods such as iron, steel, aluminium, cement, fertilisers, electricity, hydrogen and indirect emissions under certain conditions. The CBMA would force importers to pay the difference between the carbon price paid in their country and EU carbon allowances.
Finally, the Parliament approved the creation of the EU Social Climate Fund (SCF) in 2026 to combat energy poverty, and supposedly, to “ensure that the climate transition will be fair and socially inclusive”, whatever that means, and if it is possible given the socioeconomic disruption the green ‘leap in the dark’ will cause. According to the legislation, the SCF will be funded from auctioning ETS II allowances and topped up by national resources, and the EU claims it will “benefit” vulnerable households, micro enterprises, and transport users affected by energy and transport property.
These disastrous policies are a leap in the dark, and a disastrous experiment based on ideological dogmatism. They cannot have any consequences other than to crush European economic growth, productivity, and competitiveness. Perhaps it would be pertinent to remember Ida Auken’s words in an essay for the World Economic Forum (with whom the EU’s ideological zealots share backrooms) where she claimed in the future “you’ll own nothing and be happy”. This seems to be what ideologically dogmatic laws like these are set to bring down on Europeans, with the consequence of destroying our agricultural and industrial sovereignty, and making us even more dependent on China. Some armchair environmentalists like France’s pro-China President Macron might be pleased with this, but the average European certainly won’t benefit from this.
This is precisely the assessment made by the leader of Poland’s PiS party, who judged that “what the left-liberal majority in the European Parliament is doing, guided solely by ideological rationales, is green communism, a desire to impose a new lifestyle that will benefit the richest countries, the richest Europeans, and new businesses sectors at the expense of poorer ones, above all from our part of Europe”. Kaczyński likely has the important Polish manufacturing, steel, automotive and construction industries in mind, among others.
Kaczyński further added that “the execution is, to put it mildly, extremely flawed, and the timing of accelerating the energy transition is terrible”, such that “we are therefore threatened by, among other things, an uncontrolled increase in the prices of fuel and of maintaining apartments and houses, a deterioration in the quality of the life of the a average European, and a loss of competitiveness of the European economy”.
Kaczyński criticised MEPs from polish opposition parties who supported these pieces of legislation. In a similar vein, Climate Minister Anna Moskwa stated that “we will all pay for their decisions, although unfortunately it will hit the poorest inhabitants of Poland the most. Moskva reassured that Poland would not support any of these ‘Fit for 55’ pieces of legislation when they reach the Council of the EU in the next few days to be voted on.
Indeed, Poland is one of the few remaining countries with common sense on energy policy, and has been particularly critical against of disastrous consequences of Germany’s ideological eco-fanaticism. Last year, after Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, Poland pointed out the moral and political lunacy of continuing to purchase fossil fuels from Russia. This is especially the case considering that, in large part, Germany has been at the helm of destroying Europe’s energy security and independence over the last decades, and selling it out to third countries. For instance, just this April Germany culminated the dogmatic ideologically-driven shutdown of its nuclear power plants, and last December, 4 eastern German states vehemently opposed the construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland.
Germany has also vocally supported disastrous policies at an EU level that will only make Europe poorer, such as greenhouse emissions targets, suppressing energy consumption, imposing costs on producers such as in the agricultural sector, or its relentless efforts to supress the development of nuclear power as an energy for the future in the EU. What is clear is that a more pragmatic approach to climate politics is needed, following in the footsteps of Poland. One that weighs up the socioeconomic consequences of policy measures, and doesn’t just satisfy the ideological drives of self-serving elites.