On October 6, Poland assembled a blocking minority with Eastern European countries to bring Brussels' climate package to a temporary halt, claiming that more discussion is needed. "Poland fully accepts the necessity of reducing CO2 emissions by 2020 but not in the formula now presented by the European Commission," said Poland's Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki. "This would lead to the worsening of the situation of Polish industry and the living standard of the people."
Poland gets about 90 percent of its electricity from coal-fueled power plants and fears its power companies would be unable to compete in free-market auctions with power plants from wealthier European countries.
There are also concerns about the shift in dependence on Russian natural gas."We are dependent on Russia for 97 percent of our gas and more than 90 percent of our petrol," said Jan Skoda, Slovakia's foreign ministry spokesman. "We're caught with a double-edged sword. We are concerned that dependence of any kind is not good for our or anybody's strategic interests. On the one hand we want to accept the protocol's conclusions, reduce carbon dioxide and proceed toward a healthier climate. On the other hand we have to keep our capacity to compete."