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Member of the Management Board of PKEE and Vice-President of PGE Group Paweł Cioch spoke about the just energy transition in the context of the European Climate Law

Discussing the matters relating to the transformation of the European energy sector until 2050 in the context of the upcoming Climate Law was the main objective of the debate organised by Euractiv in cooperation with the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE). The meeting, attended by the European Union officials (Clara de la Torre, DG CLIMA), Members of the European Parliament (Ville Niinistö and Clotilde Armand), think-tanks (Matthias Buck from Agora Energiewende) and the representatives of energy utility companies took place on the 9th of September 2020. The keynote speech was delivered by Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński - Undersecretary of State in the Polish Ministry of Climate.

Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński, Deputy Minister of Climate who opened the event, emphasised that for Poland it is important not only to talk about the goals of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, but also to make sure that they are actually feasible. - We have to build a new, zero-emission power system of a size comparable to the current one. Investments in renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and innovation will be of key importance - he noted.

During the high-level panel, its participants - Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director General, DG CLIMA – European Commission, Ville Niinistö MEP, Member EP ENVI Committee Clotilde Armand MEP, Member EP BUDG Committee, Matthias Buck, Head of European Energy Transition, Agora Energiewende and Paweł Cioch, PGE’s Group Vice-President, Member of the Management Board of the PKEE - discussed solutions for the challenges posed by the transformation of the European Union's energy sector. Moreover, the debate focused on how to make sure that Member States struggling with energy transition challenges benefit from additional financial support from EU funds.

Vice-President of PGE Group, Paweł Cioch who represented the Polish Electricity Association in his capacity of the Member of the Management Board of PKEE has stressed that the main challenge ahead of European Union is how to deliver the EU goal of achieving climate neutrality while the starting points of the EU Member States differ significantly. - The principle of a just and fair energy transition must be the guidance in creating financial instruments supporting its implementation. For Poland, where more than 75% of energy mix is still coal-based, every possible increase in any climate target needs to be mitigated by the robust financial support compensating the increased costs and accelerating the most important investments - he clarified.

Deputy CEO Cioch has also pointed out that the discussion on the just transition should therefore be considered as one of the foundations of every climate initiative - and not perceived as an alternative to it. - The just transition should be reflected not only in the Climate Law but also in the ongoing discussion on the 2030 climate targets where the possible increase in the ambitions needs to be mitigated by the significant financial support compensating the increased costs and accelerating the most important investments - he stressed. - Already existing mechanisms, such as the Modernisation Fund and the ‘solidarity pool’ created under the EU ETS directive and the new ones like the Next Generation EU recovery package should be further increased to ensure that the common journey towards climate neutrality is truly feasible - he added.

The Member of the Management Board of the PKEE has also pointed attention to the fact that Poland has evaluated its investment needs in renewable and low-emission energy sources. At the beginning of this week, the Ministry of Climate has published the updated Polish Energy Policy until 2040 - PEP. - Our country is currently facing the challenge of building a new energy system in the next 20 years. Not only because the green transformation requires it, but also because the economy must have reliable sources of electricity production - he explained. - The PEP assumes that in 2040, more than half of the installed capacity will be zero-emission sources. That is why the PGE Capital Group is currently implementing the most ambitious investment programmes in the field of renewable energy expansion, which include the construction of 2.5 GW of capacity in offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea by 2030 and the construction of 2.5 GW of PV capacity by 2030. And that's not our last word - he concluded.