Poland

Addressing the need for low-carbon development in Poland

Opportunity

A decade of dynamic growth brought about important changes in Poland. The country has increasingly started to play an important role in European Union (EU) politics, the standard of living has improved significantly and Polish companies successfully compete on the international market.

However, further development requires considerable changes in the Polish socio-economic model. Poland has to identify new drivers for more sustainable, low-carbon growth. While the low-carbon transition of the power sector and energy intensive industries will be ambitious, Poland can draw on sufficient financial resources from EU structural funds and Emissions Trading System revenues.

Challenge

The Polish power sector fleet is outdated and based on coal (85%). Hard coal has been an important driver of economic growth for decades. Today, most of the current deposits of both hard coal and lignite are depleted. The aging generation fleet is likely to fail ensuring reliable security of supply.

With several coal projects in the pipeline the Polish government continues to support the high-carbon energy pathway in spite of the scarcity of indigenous energy resources. However, the option of opening new deposits faces opposition from local communities and would give rise to significant costs.

Opinion polls carried out throughout the past decade show that a vast majority of the Polish society considers climate change a serious threat, and supports the low-carbon transition and renewable energies to ensure an adequate solution to this challenge.

Approach

The European Climate Foundation works with a variety of experts from different sectors on topics such as the potential costs and benefits of the power sector transition, energy efficiency measures, energy markets, and energy and fuel poverty. The Warsaw Institute for Economic Studies (WiseEuropa), the Forum for Energy Analysis (FAE), the Institute for Structural Research, other think tanks, the public and private sector, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are among our partners.

In collaboration with the “More than Energy” movement, which has gathered over 120 local communities and NGOs along with almost 40,000 individual signatories, we support change that promotes citizen-owned energy generation and energy efficiency in residential buildings.

For more information, please contact poland@europeanclimate.org.