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Brussels, 10 March 2012

Statement by Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard following yesterday's Environment Council

''Poland's no to the European Commission low-carbon Roadmap is unfortunate, but it will not stop Europe from moving on with its transition to a low-carbon economy.

The bad news was that Poland blocked Council conclusions for the second time. The good and encouraging news is that Poland was the only country to block. The Presidency and the other 26 member states explicitly asked the Commission to move on, and that is what we will do.

The day before the Council the Polish minister signed off an op-ed saying that EU should only have the 2050 reduction objective. How to achieve it should be up to members states themselves as a matter of "subsidiarity".

Let's imagine that we said the same about the economic crisis, that the EU defined the economic target for 2050 but how to reach it and whether anything happened in the next 38 years would be an exclusive matter for individual member states. Everyone can see that this wouldn’t work. This is also true when it comes to our climate policies.

The EU can't work like this. The EU is a democratic community where negotiations are about give and take to get a good result for all. We can't move forward if the most reluctant one dictates the pace to the rest.

The Commission's job is to take care of the common European interest. As late as last week all EU Heads of States and Government urged us to move forward on the low-carbon transition. This is what we will do. There are already a number of proposals from the Commission paving the way, e.g. the energy efficiency directive that the European Council wants to be adopted already in June and the Commission's budget proposal with an ambitious climate mainstreaming.

Now the Commission will work on further measures needed to reach the cost-efficient milestones that will lead us to a low-carbon future''.

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