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POLAND: Clean Air Policy Funding

A recent report by the World Bank showed that Poland’s smog-fighting programmes may be underfunded by as much as PLN 25 billion. The topic of smog has grown in importance in the last 2 years in Polish politics. The government wants to focus on improving house insulation and subsidise transitions to better heating equipment and high-quality fuel. While some reports have indicated that Polish cities are spending more time and resources to deal with the issue, Poland is home to 33 out of 50 most polluted EU cities. PM Morawiecki underlined that tackling smog in Poland is “a marathon” – results will not be seen immediately. Morawiecki estimated that the government will spend as much as 130 billion on combating air pollution in the next decade, which might not be enough – as the World Bank argues. 

Initial programmes are meant to be funded through remaining EU funds of the current budget, and a new emission tax on fuel. The main bill on thermomodernization is currently undergoing the legislative process and it will tackle the most polluted counties in Poland. Still, the 180 million earmarked for the initial project is a symbolic amount, experts argue. Many commentators did not expect that smog would receive continuous attention from decisionmakers. Usually, in Poland, the issue is only a big media topic in winter when the conditions worsen. Continuing works throughout the year might be a sign that the government is serious about this policy.