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Polish air quality programme launched

Today, the Polish environment minister Maciej H. Grabowski launched a draft national programme on air quality.

The programme aims to identify the key actions needed to improve air quality in Poland and to encourage ministries, local governments, NGOs and the public to cooperate in this area. Details on the programme were presented at a meeting in Krakow, in which HEAL’s coal and health adviser Lukasz Adamkiewicz participated.

The EU Commission recently warned Poland over failure to comply with EU air quality standards and is threatening to take the country to the European Court of Justice.

More information on the programme in Polish can be found here.

HEAL and ClientEarth Poland think this draft programme is a missed opportunity to protect people’s health: it is incomplete and lacks legal force (e.g. no sanctions for failure to comply). The document is particularly disappointing considering that 2015 is the Year of Air in Poland, and taking into account that many health experts have urged the Polish government for action to improve air quality and prevent the 45,000 air-related premature deaths annually.

We would have particularly liked to see proposals on how to curb emissions from the energy sector, which in Poland is dominated by coal power. ClientEarth thinks it’s important to include both obligations for local authorities but also give them greater competence on taking air quality decisions.

You can find the joint press release here

Comments on the draft can be given as part of a public consultation, which is open for 30 days.

Earlier this year the Polish Environment Minister Maciej Grabowski announced that protecting and improving air quality will be one of his main priorities in 2015. Read more here...

Last updated on 12 March 2015

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