Poland is Prioritizing Climate Change with Donald Tusk

Poland is prioritizing climate change by electing Donald Tusk, a leader who puts it at the top of the agenda.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Poland is prioritizing climate change by electing Donald Tusk, a leader who puts it at the top of the agenda. Image EU2017EE Estonian Presidency, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Poland is prioritizing climate change by electing Donald Tusk, a leader who puts it at the top of the agenda.

Poland recently elected Donald Tusk, a government leader that is ready to put climate change at the forefront of their platform. From 2015 – 2023, Poland was under the control of the Law and Justice Party, a right-wing populist and national-conservative political party that did not prioritize the environment and climate change.  Donald Tusk, leader of the Civic Platform, was elected as Poland’s prime minister in their most recent election. The new government has already announced that it will prioritize climate change and has promised a new coal phase-out date.

Coal currently makes up 80 percent of Poland’s energy as it is used for electricity and much of their heating. The country’s share of coal in electricity production exceeds 70 percent; by comparison, across the EU, the share of coal in generating electricity has fallen to less than 16 percent. Reducing coal usage and switching to other energy sources will significantly reduce the country’s emissions. 

Poland is prioritizing climate change by also signaling that it will support a 90% reduction in net greenhouse gas outputs across the European Union by 2040. The secretary of state at Poland’s climate and environment, Urszula Zielińska, stated that the country would no longer block EU climate action, a frequent occurrence under the former Law and Justice Party. Urszula also indicated that she is formally working with the new government to endorse climate neutrality by 2050. This is an EU target that every member country except for Poland has endorsed.  

Why your vote matters

Voting for leaders and parties that prioritize climate change on their platforms is incredibly important, especially when our planet is struggling. Climate change-oriented political leaders are important because they hold significant power and influence in shaping policies and actions that address the climate crisis.  

With their teams’ help, especially those that focus primarily on the environment, political leaders can craft and implement policies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the impacts of climate change, and transition to sustainable, low-carbon economies. 

Political leaders like Donald Tusk engage in international negotiations and agreements to set collective targets and commitments for reducing emissions and combating climate change. This is incredibly important in the case of Poland, which is in a network (the European Union) that is committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Donald Tusk and Poland’s new government is now ready and willing to work with the EU to help achieve its climate goals.  

Political leaders like Tusk also have a platform to raise public awareness about the urgency of climate action and the need for behavioral changes at the individual and societal levels. They can promote education campaigns, communicate the science of climate change, and mobilize public support for policy initiatives and lifestyle changes that reduce carbon footprints.  

The general public has demonstrated the need for change by electing Donald Tusk into power. There is now a significant opportunity for the government to work with the people of Poland to reduce emissions and mitigate against climate change collectively.  

Every vote matters. And it’s understandable to be scared to vote for political parties putting climate change first, especially if you live somewhere where governments don’t prioritize it historically. But if we want change to happen, we have to vote for the underdogs, and with time, these groups and governments will conquer, and we will see change.

Poland is prioritizing climate change, and it is only one example of the power of the vote. However, we are progressively changing who gets to lead our countries, cities, and municipalities. The fact that these progressive governments are winning the citizens’ votes means that it is possible to have governments that will fight to protect our planet.

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