Event: Climate Justice, Central European Perspectives

Online Discussion with Albin Sybera and Suzana Carp, moderated by Marcin Zaborowski

6 November 2021

Recording of the online discussion on climate justice in Central Europe.

After first days, the COP26 climate summit is calling upon the decrease of carbon, cement, minerals, and metals, while speaking about concrete partnerships and solutions being implemented by policy-driven or market-driven tools to deploy innovative solutions. Facing an energy crisis, the EU remains split over coal mines in Central Europe and underlying tensions over key aspects of the bloc’s climate proposal. Poland and Hungary questioning the Fit for 55 package, rising market prices — all point to concern over the EU’s ability to be a global leader in tackling climate change.

The initial statements of the speakers can be heard in the recording below:

Our speakers:

  • Albin Sybera – Fellow, Visegrad Insight. 
  • Suzana Carp – Climate Policy Expert and Strategist

The discussion addressed whether another climate summit would change anything as Europe remains divided between the disputes itself with Czech-Polish conflict over the Turów coal mine and the Poland-Hungary coalition against the EU’s climate proposals. In the scope of the topics, other sources of energy are becoming a genuine concern for market prices and a competitive solution to the renewable sources, our speakers talked about the increase of nuclear energy:

Nuclear energy is increasingly become more and more expensive, so betting on nuclear is literally a challenge to the state budget in the next decades compared to renewables. Countries do not invest in renewables and there is no concentrated effort that we could potentially see.’

Nuclear will be the part of the picture. Zero-emissions technology is leaning towards it for the multiple reasons. There is an idea of security and autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe that nuclear power can guarantee a certain plan for a couple of years ahead. We will see it in the energy mix of different countries as well and it could be a good stabilizing technology 2050 aside other sources, because of its zero emissions status.

In the Q&A session, the speakers were asked whether it was possible for Poland and Hungary to benefit from the Emissions Trading System (ETS), revenues and modernization funds amid the East-West division within the EU. A lively discussion broke out over the Global South and where Central European states are located in the context of solidarity and climate justice. Challenges on tackling emissions per capita, huge carbon consummation, diminishing carbon budget and the rights for pollution were the main topics of the debate.


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