Top Polish climate envoy Korolec dismissed a week before Paris talks

Published 17:44 on November 19, 2015  /  Last updated at 10:57 on November 20, 2015  /  Bavardage, Climate Talks, EMEA, EU ETS, International  /  No Comments

Poland’s incoming government has replaced the country’s top climate envoy with just over a week before the start of critical UN climate talks in Paris.

Poland’s incoming government has replaced the country’s top climate envoy with just over a week before the start of critical UN climate talks in Paris.

Marcin Korolec, state secretary for the environment responsible for climate policy and a former environment minister, was sacked on Thursday by Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, and replaced by Pawel Salek.

According to a Polish environment ministry spokeswoman, Salek is a trained engineer who acted as the first president of KOBiZE, the government’s administering body for the country’s emissions registry and other matters relating to Poland’s GHG emissions and its role in the EU ETS.

Salek will be Poland’s top negotiator in Paris when the talks kick off in just over a week, but his influence may be limited because the EU negotiates as a bloc.

Korolec was demoted to his current role from environment minister during the COP-19 UN climate talks in Warsaw in 2013. He was replaced by Maciej Grabowski, a pro-fracking lawmaker who was appointed to attempt to kick-start the country’s natural gas industry.

Grabowski himself exited the role last week after Poland’s newly-elected Law & Justice government appointed Jan Szyszko, who served as environment minister in 1997-1999 and 2005-2007, into the position for a third term.

LEGACY

Korolec was amongst the most vocal opponents of the two recently-introduced efforts to prop up the EU’s beleaguered carbon market.

He claimed Backloading and the MSR represented political intervention in a market that is tasked solely with cutting carbon and that should be left to operate freely.

Coal-reliant Poland feared the measures, which were invariably aimed at lifting an EU carbon price that had dropped below €5 amid a massive oversupply of allowances, would increase power prices and potentially cripple its industry.

Korolec often led negotiations within, and spoke on behalf of, the Eastern European Visegrad+2 bloc, and managed to initially secure a 2021 start to the MSR – several years later than was sought by much of the rest of Europe – before the Czech Republic defected to the western camp at the eleventh hour.

Korolec’s actions led many participants in the EU ETS to develop a love-hate attitude towards him, making him an affable antagonist.

He frequently opined on Twitter, flexing what became known as his trademark wry Polish wit. Below is a selection of some of Korolec’s most memorable English-language tweets.  

 

By Mike Szabo – mike@carbon-pulse.com

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