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'This Is Nuts': Poland Announces 'Radical Acceleration' of Gas Fracking at UN Climate Summit

Poland fires Environment Minister at height of UN climate talks in order to push development of shale development

Jon Queally, staff writer

Marcin Korolec, Poland's minister of environment and president of conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has been sacked by Donald Tusk. (Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters)

Poland is turning out to be a host of ill-repute when it comes to seriously addressing the crisis of fossil fuel-driven global warming.

Already under fire for choosing to host a global coal conference alongside the UN climate talks, known as COP19, in Warsaw this week, the Polish government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk has doubled-down on flouting the international call for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by firing Environment Minister Marcin Korolec in the middle of the talks and replacing him with a man closely associated with the nation's gas fracking industry.

As Reuters reports:

Korolec will be replaced by Maciej Grabowski, former deputy finance minister responsible for preparing shale gas taxation.

"It is about radical acceleration of shale gas operations. Mr Korolec will remain the government's plenipotentiary for the climate negotiations," Tusk told a news conference.

Polish environmentalists, already frustrated and embarrassed by the Korolec administration's continued allegiance to the coal and gas industry, were outraged by the decision.

"This is nuts. Changing the minister leading the climate negotiations after a race to the bottom by parties of the convention shows Prime Minister Tusk is not sincere about the need for an ambitious climate deal," said Maciej Muskat, director of Greenpeace Poland.

"Furthermore, justifying the change of minister by the need to push the exploitation of another fossil fuel in Poland is beyond words," he said.


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