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Poland to take legal action against CBAM of the EU

Poland has taken legal action against several EU climate policies, including the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. The country argues that these policies were not properly assessed and exceed the EU's authority. Poland is particularly concerned about the impact on its economy and energy security, as it is heavily reliant on coal.

Key Points:

Poland is challenging laws from the EU's 'Fit for 55' package, including new car emission rules and land use and forestry laws.

Poland's legal arguments suggest that EU climate policies should have been agreed upon unanimously as they impact countries' sovereign decisions about their energy mix.

The Polish government is also contesting the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which imposes a tariff on carbon-intensive goods entering the EU.

Poland argues that these laws pose a threat to its energy security and could worsen social inequality.


Legal Aspects:

World Trade Organization (WTO) Rules:

CBAM could be challenged under WTO rules if it discriminates against imports. This could be a strong point for Poland.

Unanimity Requirement:

Poland argues that EU climate policies should have been agreed upon unanimously, as they impact countries' sovereign decisions about their energy mix. This could be a legal basis for challenging the CBAM.

Social Inequality:

Poland might argue that the CBAM worsens social inequality, which could be another legal angle.

Previous Outcomes/Decisions:

Protectionism Concerns: Australia has criticised the EU's CBAM for potentially bolstering protectionism, which could hurt global growth. This sentiment might influence court decisions.

Unintended Consequences:

A UBS report pointed out unintended consequences of a CBAM, such as increased costs for certain industries. Courts may consider these factors.

Political Climate:

The EU has ambitious climate goals, and the CBAM is a part of that. Courts may weigh the broader benefit against Poland's specific concerns.

Economic Factors:

Poland is heavily reliant on coal, making it an outlier in the EU. This could either strengthen its case or make it less likely to succeed if the court views Poland as resisting broader EU goals.


Previous Legal Challenges by Poland:

Combustion Vehicles Ban:

Poland challenged the EU ban on registration of combustion vehicles as of 2035.

GHG Emission Caps: Poland contested the reduction of the maximum amount of greenhouse gas emission.

Free Allowances under ETS:

Poland challenged the reduction in the number of free allowances available under the ETS.

Forest Management:

Poland's forest management was declared incompatible with EU rules by the CJEU.


EU ETS and CBAM: These are part of the "Fit for 55" package, and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is currently dealing with these challenges.

Other Environmental Laws: CJEU is also dealing with four other Polish complaints against EU environmental laws.


Political Climate:

Poland was the only Member State opposed to the EU's 2050 target to become carbon neutral.

Economic Factors:

Poland's industry and energy security heavily rely on fossil fuels, making it an outlier in the EU.

Global Scrutiny: EU environmental policies, including the CBAM, are under global scrutiny for potentially bolstering protectionism.

Time Factor: The upcoming EU elections in June 2024 add a layer of complexity, as it's uncertain who will preside over the Commission and the Council.

Given the repeated challenges by Poland and its unique economic and energy situation, it's difficult to predict the outcome. However, the CJEU's current and past dealings with similar cases indicate that Poland faces an uphill battle.


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