JANUARY 31, 2023

Adam Blazowski - Poland

Transcript (download)

So we are FOTA4Climate.

We come from Poland. We are climate activists. We come here because we are angry and we are frustrated. We are angry and frustrated with the policy of Belgian government on energy, with German climate policy on energy, and this is why we are here. There are 3 reasons why we are frustrated:

The first reason is that replacing nuclear carbon with gas is problematic from the climate perspective. Recent think-tank Ember publication has stated Belgium will be the only country in Europe that will carbonize by 2030. And how am I supposed to explain to climate-deniers in Poland that we have to decarbonize when a wealthy country like Belgium is carbonizing? So that is making our work difficult. There is no just transition into low-carbon economy without nuclear power.

The second reason why this is a problem is energy solidarity. If you have a wealthy country using the ETS (Emission Training System) to transitioning [sic] to gas and fossil fuels that this affects everybody else. This will also affect Poland. So I can hear, here in Belgium, politicians are talking about transition to gas and they say “No, no. The emissions will not go up because we have the ETS system.” Well, this is wrong. The way it works is that Belgium can buy a ‘climate indulgens’ and burn fossil fuels.

But somebody will have to reduce his [sic] emission, and that will be the person who cannot afford expensive electricity. So by Belgium transitioning to gas and fossil gas and moving away from nuclear power, which is low-carbon, our hospitals and our trains will be more expensive. This makes our decarbonization more difficult.

This is again the same thing. The politicians are talking about nice things and the transformation, but in the end, it’s always gas.

So, for our case, this a violation of energy solidarity in Europe. We should share the burden, and we have to think about all these sectors that are difficult to decarbonize. And when you have electricity that is expensive, like in Germany and in future in Belgium it is difficult to decarbonize heating and transport because it’s more expensive. And the same will affect Poland.

The third reason is my personal [sic], because for the last 10 years I’ve been working as a software engineer in energy efficiency for the market in Belgium and Benelux. My work was related to cutting CO2 emissions and reducing burning of gas in heating systems, and I am very proud of my work.

Now, because of a strike of a pen from of a minister of energy, this will go all to waste. I have saved 13 million cubic meters of gas in Benelux, and I’m pretty proud of this.

So when I talk to my daughter, I say “What do you do?” and I say “I am doing everything I can so that people can burn less gas.”

And now I have to explain her [sic] why a politician in Brussels with the support of the European commission is advocating for subsidies for new gas plants in Belgium.

This is insane. This is affecting Poland and all over again this the same kind of thinking, a colonial thinking. “We make the mess over here, but some other countries are going to reduce, and they will pay the price.”

So this is why we are here, and this is why we have come. And we want to just make a very strong statement to the ministers in Belgium government. And this is why we brought this banner because we think it’s really insane.