Poland ranks 55th in this year’s CCPI, still among the lowest-performing countries.
It receives a low rating in all CCPI index categories: GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, Energy Use and Climate Policy.
Coal power dominates Poland’s energy mix. While the government plans to phase out coal by 2049, the CCPI country experts criticise this target as too late, and a general fossil fuel phase-out is not in sight. Despite an agreement to close coal mines by 2049, our experts indicate the just transition plans are too weak.
Long-term strategy is missing
Poland has not announced a long-term strategy to reduce GHG emissions for 2050. The proposed update to the Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 aims for 73% of electricity from renewable energy sources and nuclear power. The country´s energy mix currently has a very low share of renewable energy sources, but a positive trend can be seen. The energy crisis led Poland to accelerate renewable energy deployment, and businesses and local authorities are increasing their investments in such energy. The experts welcome the growing interest in renewables but criticise the government’s emphasis on nuclear energy and the lack of a clear, progressive energy supply policy. Strict restrictions on onshore wind energy, however, have recently been eased.
Biomass is one of the most used forms of renewable energy in the Polish energy mix, mainly for heating in large cities and individual houses. Its use has increased in the wake of Russia´s war on Ukraine. The experts note that this development contributes to increased harvesting of forests in Poland, which reduces the capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and threatens forest conservation status. Widespread use of biomass also harms Poland’s air quality. Moreover, the experts point to a flawed institutional design, as the government body in charge of forest management is responsible for maximising profits from the sale of wood, while at the same time preserving the forests – a conflict of interest.
Poland met the EU’s energy and climate policy targets set for 2020
Poland does not play an active role in international climate policy. At the EU level, Poland opposes the ban on combustion engines by 2035 and higher energy standards for buildings.
On a positive note, Poland met the EU’s energy and climate policy targets set for 2020. It’s among the leading EU countries in terms of heat pump sales. The government launched different programs to support the installation of solar panels and heat pumps, as well as the purchase of electric cars and buses.
The CCPI experts expect from Poland a long-term GHG reduction policy, strategies for becoming less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels, and most importantly a coherent national vision for transformation.
The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI: