Norwegian Environment Minister Bård Vegar Solhjell met his Polish colleague Marcin Korolec in Oslo this week to discuss climate policy and bilateral environmental cooperation between Poland and Norway.
The Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec was in Oslo on 15 October to promote Warsaw as the host city for the Green Climate Fund Secretariat. Warsaw is one of six candidates, and the decision on the host country takes place in the near future.
Environment ministers discussed the status and challenges for climate policy both in Europe and in the global climate negotiations. Both expressed concern about the lack of commitments in the global negotiations, especially in the U.S., China and India’s position. Solhjell highlighted the importance of international initiatives that provide emission reductions, such as Norway’s support for REDD + Forest Initiative.
European climate policy were also discussed and Solhjell reported on Norwegian supporting position for the European Commission’s proposals.
- Other countries like China and Australia are looking to the EU emissions trading scheme as a pilot. It is therefore very important that the system works, emphasized Solhjell.
Minister Korolec, on the other hand, reported on Poland’s concerns about the EU’s competitiveness without a global agreement. Poland is Europe’s largest producer of coal, and coal accounts for over 90 percent of the country’s electricity production. New technology allows for the extraction of shale gas in Poland. There is an extensive research work in the area.
Both Korolec and Solhjell emphasized continuing the good environmental cooperation between Poland and Norway, particularly cooperation through the EEA Grants. Poland is the country that receives the biggest support through the EEA Grants, 578 million Euro between the period of 2009 to 2014. A large portion goes to environmental and climate programs.