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    Dep PM Jacek Sasin: EU’s Fit for 55 directive hits Polish economy and citizens hard

    Polish Deputy Prime Minister, Jacek Sasin, has recently spoken out against the European Union’s Fit for 55 directive, calling it a burden on the Polish economy and its citizens. Speaking at the Impact’23 conference in Poznan, Sasin stated that the directive would mean enormous financial costs for Poland, and billions of zlotys that citizens would have to pay in the form of higher electricity and heating prices.

    The Fit for 55 directive aims to accelerate the EU’s reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. However, according to Sasin, these EU regulations will impoverish Poles and hinder Poland’s development. The directive includes new taxes on industry, cars, buildings, and expensive air travel. It also includes higher prices for gasoline, heating, and electricity.

    Sasin emphasized that Poland does not oppose the energy transition, but it must be done at its own pace, with energy security being crucial. The main regulations include the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), a new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and the creation of a Social Climate Fund (SCF). The EU package also introduces a ban on the registration of combustion engine cars from 2035. From 2026, Poles would have to pay a new EU tax for using their cars. Climate policy will also cover agriculture and forestry. According to experts from Bank Pekao SA, the total cost of the package for Poland will be 527.5 billion euros, while implementing the Fit for 55 directive may cost a four-person family in Poland an additional quarter of a million zlotys by 2030 (about 64,000 zlotys per person).

    Sasin claims that the proposed changes will significantly reduce the competitiveness of the Polish economy and cannot be accepted without reservations. He further notes that Poland’s energy model is based on coal, which is responsible for producing 70% of the country’s energy. Massive investments that require time and large amounts of money will be needed to change this.

    The deputy prime minister expresses disappointment in the lack of reflection from EU partners on the need for energy transformation, taking into account the specificity of Poland. From the beginning of the work on the Fit for 55 package, Poland has strongly opposed it. The new element, which it strongly opposes, is the inclusion of buildings and road transport in the EU ETS system. Fuels used in these sectors will be subject to additional charges, meaning that the more emissions from a given fuel, the higher the charge will be. This will translate into an increase in heating and transportation costs, both in Poland and in other EU countries.

    Poland’s energy sector is facing enormous challenges, as energy demand grows on one hand, and energy transition and EU climate policy require the acquisition of new sources on the other. The deputy prime minister urges the EU to reflect on the need for energy transformation while taking into account Poland’s specificity.

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