EU leaders agree on climate neutrality by 2050, Poland to go 'at own pace'

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By Grace Murray
EU leaders agree on climate neutrality by 2050, Poland to go 'at own pace'

It was all smiles at the EU summit, as leaders committed to reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

Discussions focused on funds for eastern European states to transition away from fossil fuels, while keeping nuclear power in the mix, but the deadline is a bit more flexible for one country.

"One member state, that is Poland, could not commit itself today to how the implementation (of this goal) should take place. And so we decided that we will return to it in June of next year (2020)," explained German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"This was a very difficult negotiation but the conclusions include this exemption, this rule that must also be included in the legislative process, the rule that Poland would be reaching climate neutrality at its own pace," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters.

The agreement will be a relief for new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. She has put green policies as the number one priority.

However, the climate activists are less convinced about the deal, ahead of the summit they have unveiled a banner calling for more serious action on cutting emissions.

Even Santa Claus, who made a surprise appearance at the summit expressed his fears for the climate.

"I must carry on my second sleigh to go with the reindeers. And it wears out so quick - it's too much sand now, it should be snow."