At the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow on Monday, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš criticized the European climate package known as the Fit for 55. According to him, without a rational approach, the Green Deal could become the “European green suicide.”
Babiš stressed that it is first necessary to decide whether the goals are not too ambitious, how much money the transformation will cost, and whether Europe and individual states can afford it.
In recent years, according to the Czech prime minister, environmental protection has been replaced with the fight against climate change. He noted that the European Union wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, but the Fit for 55 package goes much further than what the Union agreed on. He criticized, for example, that the European Commission proposes that new cars in the EU should not be able to produce any carbon dioxide emissions from 2035 onwards.
Babiš stressed that Europe produces about 9 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“The European Union cannot achieve anything without the involvement of the biggest polluters, such as China and the United States,” he said.
“China has basically announced that it will not only not reduce emissions but will increase them by the end of 2030, opening new lignite-fired power plants,” he added at a press briefing.
According to Babiš, the Fit for 55 package does not take into account the conditions and possibilities of individual EU member states. The prime minister also said that without answering the question of whether the goals are too ambitious or how much the transformation will cost, the Green Deal would become the “European green suicide.”
Babiš considers it absolutely essential that the member states should be able to choose their own energy mix to achieve carbon neutrality. He defended nuclear energy as a clean and safe source of energy.
At the briefing, the prime minister again criticized the European Commission for failing to implement the emissions allowance directive. Babiš reiterated that the price of allowances cannot be determined by speculative capital.
The prime minister warned that the Green Deal can lead to social, economic, political, and geopolitical costs, which can create enormous tensions in society, or among allies and open the door to radicals. According to Babiš, the deal may be responsible for the loss of competitiveness of the European Union, rising unemployment, and astronomical energy prices.
“Gas is also a problem. European politicians keep talking about the need to get rid of our dependence on Russian gas but that is absolute nonsense. Instead of increasing the capacity of the gas pipelines and concluding long-term contracts, these efforts are blocked, and it results in the situation as it is,” Babiš told reporters.
At the end of his speech to the summit participants, Babiš called for approaching the climate issue without ideology, critically and rationally.