Polish Briefing 3 July, 2019 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: The Clean Air Program is inefficient and it requires changes

What goes on in Poland on the 3rd of July.

Polish Smog Alarm: The Clean Air Program is inefficient and it requires changes

The Clean Air Program requires changes. In an interview with, Piotr Siergiej from the Polish Smog Alarm emphasizes that in its current form the program is inefficient. In his opinion, the government should change its policy in this area because there is a threat that the European Union will stop financially support the fight against smog in Poland.

As he pointed out Polish Smog Alarm Program points out that the program should be constructed in a different way from the very beginning of its working. – Now you can see that about 20 thousand. applications that have been considered so far are not enough to accomplishing the plan, and therefore 400,000 applications. This is only 5 percent of the plan for this year. The Clean Air Program does not work properly and requires a thorough reconstruction. The European Commission also called for it – he said.

In his opinion, transferring funds under the program to the level of municipalities and banks would increase the number of applications submitted. – Currently, applications are examined by the Voivodship Funds for Environmental Protection and Water Management. Only a few people deal with them, which extends the entire process. WFOŚiGW cannot deal with it – said the representative of the Polish Smog Alarm. At the same time, he pointed out that no matter how big funds the government declares for the implementation of the Clean Air Program, the WFOŚiGW will remain a bottleneck that cannot process a larger stream of applications, and thus funds. – These amounts are far from sufficient. This was one of the demands of both the European Commission and Polish Smog Alarm. Unfortunately, the Minister of Environment Henryk Kowalczyk failed to convince that funds under the Clean Air Program were transferred to the level of communes – said Piotr Siergiej. Simplifying the application procedure is also important.

Referring to reports of Gazeta Wyborcza about the possible suspension by the European Commission of EU assistance in the implementation of the Clean Air Program, he expressed hope that the government will change its policy. – Current actions of the government and the Ministry of Environment are diversional. Both the government and the Minister of the Environment underline that they are fighting against smog and the program is working, but we all see what its effects are. Fears that the European Commission will stop financing the Clean Air Program and will not allocate funds from the next financial perspective for this purpose is alarming. It can not be that the particular interests of one institution lead to a situation in which the financing of the thermo-modernization program for Polish homes may be stopped – he said.

As he pointed out, this will help the poorest people deal with energy poverty, but also enable them the exchange of heat sources. – I do not understand why it has not been done so far. Why, for over half a year, the Ministry of Environment did not perform any concrete actions to make this program go away – he added.