Germany has issues about Poland’s plans to open nuclear energy stations and the affect of its growth of the Oder river that runs alongside the border between the 2 international locations, German atmosphere Steffi Lemke has revealed throughout a go to to Warsaw.
Talking after talks with Polish counterpart Anna Moskwa, Lemke famous that “an essential a part of our dialogue” was the nuclear challenge, specifically the questions of “security and waste storage”. In Berlin’s view, nuclear is “neither good nor protected”, she mentioned.
Requested by a journalist whether or not Berlin was nervous about scientific research displaying that the development of nuclear reactors in Poland may pose a hazard to some German areas, Lemke famous that, within the occasion of a risk to a neighbouring nation, it’s doable to provoke authorized motion.
“If reactors are to be inbuilt Poland, we’ll work with the suitable authorized devices…on the European stage,” mentioned Lemke. “This goes with out saying.”
Rozpoczynamy kolejne już w tym miesiącu 🇵🇱-🇩🇪 spotkanie. Tym razem z minister @BMUV @steffilemke będziemy rozmawiać https://t.co/tf0dHMQCvt. zapewnieniu bezpieczeństwa energetycznego, wyzwaniach transformacji oraz współpracy środowiskowej. pic.twitter.com/H76jN8tH9v
— Anna Moskwa (@moskwa_anna) February 22, 2022
Some Polish media shops, together with Polska Occasions and WNP, interpreted the German minister’s remarks as a risk to take Poland to court docket over its nuclear plans.
In a press release to Notes from Poland, nevertheless, the German atmosphere ministry mentioned that such an “interpretation is flawed” and that Lemke had been referring solely to “cross-border environmental affect evaluation”, not a lawsuit. “Every state decides on its power combine,” they added.
Germany started to section out nuclear energy in 2011 within the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. It goals to shut its remaining nuclear energy vegetation by the tip of this yr. The Greens, Lemke’s celebration, have opposed nuclear energy since their inception.
In contrast, Poland’s present authorities sees nuclear energy as a key part in its plans to maneuver away from reliance on coal. Its power plan foresees the primary nuclear energy plant logging on in 2033. Various personal and state-owned firms may have small reactors up and working even earlier.
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Talking yesterday, Lemke additionally famous that her authorities has a “completely different place” from Poland’s on the Oder river (often called Odra in Polish), which runs for 187 kilometres (116 miles) alongside the border between the 2 international locations.
WNP notes that for years German environmentalists have criticised Polish growth plans for the river. They are saying that the plans, purportedly supposed to enhance flood safety, are primarily an financial mission to revive full navigability of the river.
Lemke herself, earlier than changing into a minister, had strongly criticised proposals to increase infrastructure across the river. Yesterday, she pressured the necessity to preserve “the final, largely preserved river estuary in central Europe with its extraordinary number of species”.
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Talking alongside Lemke, Moskwa acknowledged that, “though our positions on this debate typically differ, as exemplified by a special strategy to nuclear power, we see nice potential for cooperation in attaining frequent objectives”. This might embody growing wind energy within the Baltic Sea, she mentioned.
Moskwa famous that Poland needed to undertake “an enormous transformation” of its power combine. “The aim just isn’t solely respect for the atmosphere and local weather, but in addition to present impetus to the economic system”, she added. “We should guarantee a good transition.”
She referred to as for “intensified joint dialogue on flood safety investments” on the Oder border that will take account of each “nature safety and flood security of the area’s inhabitants”.
Throughout her go to to Warsaw, Lemke additionally visited the Ringelbaum Archive, a trove of paperwork from the Warsaw ghetto hidden underground and later recovered. They’re “a dwelling testomony to the depth of struggling of Polish Jews beneath Nazi occupation [and] it’s our duty that they’re by no means forgotten”, she wrote.
Heute besuchte ich das #RingelblumArchiv #OnegSchabbat in Warschau, ein lebendiges Zeugnis von der Tiefe des Leids der polnischen Jüdinnen und Juden unter der Nazi-Besatzung. Es ist unsere Verantwortung, dass sie niemals in Vergessenheit geraten. pic.twitter.com/NhMLLSingz
— SteffiLemke (@SteffiLemke) February 22, 2022
Word: this text has been up to date to incorporate the German atmosphere ministry’s assertion.
Foremost picture credit score: Ministerstwo Klimatu i Środowiska
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a variety of publications, together with Overseas Coverage, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.