However, EU diplomats were not disappointed by the Council`s result and even welcomed the fact that Member States had agreed before the Cop25 in Chile, which was the main objective of the meeting. Sources close to European Council President Donald Tusk said the result was not bad for the Polish leader because he was not interested in seeing a climate deal under his supervision. His alleged interest in returning to national politics would probably suffer from the sensitive nature of climate policy in Poland. EU-28 leaders failed to negotiate an agreement that would have led member states to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, after Estonia and three of the Visegrad Four protested against the inclusion of an explicit date. Hungary`s CO2-neutral announcement earlier this week and its ensuing insistence that it have a common position with its Visegrad colleagues also indicated that it was moving in the direction of a “s-to-agree agreement”. The delay until the end of the year or the beginning of 2020 means that final talks on an agreement will coincide with the EU`s ongoing long-term budget negotiations. Green MP Ska Keller said the result was a disgrace and that “the protection of commercial interests and power seems even more important.” The environmental group WWF Europe said it was “making fun of the Paris agreement.” EU climate chief Miguel Arias Caéete later said in a press release that “the parties must “update” or “communicate” under the Paris agreement. This is where we updated it. He also cited the draft conclusions and called the final version a “progress of ambition.” In a final version of Thursday`s conclusions, the EU will “ensure a transition to a climate-neutral EU” in line with the Paris Agreement, and replace the 2050 deadline, which was included this morning in the latest draft. According to reports, the Commission has been instrumental in introducing gas loopholes in its latest version and an EIB source told Euractiv that officials also wanted to postpone the 2020 benchmark for some fossil projects. The current version introduces “relentlessly” “fossil fuels” and adds an entire paragraph to determine how “low-carbon gases” are needed to decarbonise the EU`s energy system. Council circles told EURACTIV that the outcome of discussions on the multi-year financial framework would be crucial to the chances of the climate plan, as Poland would like to be assured of the economic impact of adopting the plan. Estonia supports the EUROPEAN zero-carbon target.
Poland is losing an ally of EU diplomats insisting they appreciate economic concerns, given the divergent starting positions between Poland and France, but have also warned that it is up to Budapest, Prague, Warsaw and others to tell the Council what they really need.