The green transition is vital to Europe’s future. Rebuilding economies to achieve climate neutrality is essential not only to avoid a catastrophe but also to maintain the state’s capacity to meet social and individual needs at a level that ensures a high quality of life. The need for action on climate protection is widely understood by European societies. However, when general climate principles find expression in concrete plans and actions, this can increase the costs of energy firms, transform high-emissions sectors of the economy, and force a change in lifestyle. Political actors can instrumentalise the resulting social tensions and clashes of interests. The green transition presents a particularly daunting challenge in Poland, due to the country’s dependence on coal, strong political polarisation, and populist model of state governance.
In such conditions, is it possible to reach a social consensus on the goals and implementation of the green transition? What is the risk that the process will become another source of polarisation and social instability? Could the European Green Deal fuel anti-EU sentiment? To what extent are these risks uniquely Polish or inherent in other European societies? And how will political disputes in EU member states affect the EU’s climate policy and the formation of new coalitions that support or block its individual elements?
Find the debate in English, and on the ECFR Warsaw Facebook page and the Stefan Batory Foundation’s YouTube channel.