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    Polish Justice Minister Questions EU’s Zero-emission Vehicle Plan: Threat to Freedom of Choice?

    Poland’s Justice Minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, has sought the opinion of the country’s Constitutional Tribunal regarding the compatibility of the European Union’s new legislation aimed at drastically reducing CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 2035, with the Polish constitution.

    Mr. Ziobro expressed deep concerns on Friday, accusing the European Union and a potential new Polish government of attempting to curtail the freedom of choice for Polish citizens. “The EU, together with a new Polish government, want to deprive Poles of their freedom of choice, of their right to decide if they want to have a vehicle with a combustion engine or a diesel one, or whether they are to purchase only electric cars,” he stated.

    His worries stem from the EU’s ambitious ‘Fit for 55 in 2030’ package, approved by the European Parliament in April. This initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The legislation mandates zero CO2 emissions for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in 2035, setting intermediate emissions reduction targets of 55 percent for cars and 50 percent for vans by 2030.

    Ziobro argued that this directive could spell disaster for Poland. He contended that the plan could lead to exclusion, as many Polish citizens simply cannot afford electric vehicles. Additionally, he raised concerns about the impact on medium-sized and small businesses, fearing that they might face bankruptcy if forced to replace their current vehicle fleets with electric alternatives. Such bankruptcies, Ziobro warned, could trigger an increase in unemployment rates, further exacerbating the economic challenges faced by the country.

    “The madness of the EU policy is harming the interests and rights of the Polish people,” Ziobro asserted, reaffirming his consistent opposition to the EU’s approach.

    Given the gravity of the situation, Ziobro has filed a motion with the Constitutional Tribunal, asserting its role as the ultimate arbiter and defender of the Polish Constitution and the interests of the Polish people. He strongly believes that the new EU regulation is incompatible with the Polish Constitution and eagerly awaits the Tribunal’s evaluation.

    The move has sparked a nationwide debate, with proponents of the EU legislation emphasizing the urgent need for aggressive climate action, while opponents, echoing Ziobro’s concerns, worry about the potential socioeconomic consequences for Poland’s citizens and businesses. As the country awaits the Tribunal’s verdict, the outcome could significantly shape Poland’s environmental policies and economic landscape in the years to come.

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