Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2019

EU showdown: Poland warns Macron to ‘watch his language’ after ‘untruthful’ claims | World | News

Mr Macron sparked outrage when he suggested France’s climate activists should move their protests from Paris to Poland. Poland relies on coal for 80 percent of its energy and is wary of drastically cutting coal production. It has a long tradition of coal mining which supports tens of thousands of jobs in the southern Silesia region.

Polish President Andrzej Duda hit back at Mr Macron and suggested France’s tumultuous Yellow Vest protests were a result of social upheaval caused by his environmental policies.

He told Polish television: “President Macron did indeed speak. I believe that it was at least inelegant, because it is not a truthful statement.

“We carried out COP24 last year in December in Katowice. This great global climate conference was a success.

“The Katowice Rulebook document – the Katowice rules – which talks about how to implement the Paris Agreement, was adopted by consensus.

“It was and is our great success precisely on the way of climate protection, but at the same time we have also adopted the Just Transition declaration, just transformation.

“I believe that we should pursue development and climate protection goals, but in a way that does not harm citizens. That’s what it’s all about.

READ MORE: Town vows to become carbon neutral by 2050 as it declares ’emergency’

“It has to be conducted in such a way that people do not lose their jobs, that they do not become impoverished as a result of actions that are undertaken.

“And President Macron knows this best because when he began to raise energy prices in connection with climate issues he immediately had the Yellow Vests.

“People started to protest that their standard of living had dropped very much because of the increased prices.

“He should understand it best.”

Mr Macron later tried to defended his comments.

He said: “I’m not stigmatising anyone. But I want to convince our Polish friends that it’s good for them to move on this.”

Poland’s Minister for European Affairs Konrad Szymanski said his country was serious about climate issues but wanted clear rules on burden sharing in the EU.

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