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Warsaw making a commitment to improve air quality

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Warsaw making a commitment to improve air quality
Warsaw making a commitment to improve air quality

As unanimously declared by the City and regional authorities, Warsaw will gradually depart from coal-fired systems. On 26 February 2020, at the Third Clean Air Congress, a cooperation declaration was signed, the objective being to improve air quality.

“It has been my priority to make air in the Capital cleaner. We have made investments in environmentally-friendly public transport and new plantings, and we are helping Warsaw residents to do away with the infamous black-smoke belching stoves. We intend to eliminate coal-fired systems and impose a ban on using fireplaces on the days when air quality limits are expected to be exceeded. We expect such provisions to come into force in Q4 2023,” said Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw. “We have already launched an attractive programme of subsidising environmentally-friendly heating sources. The residents who will apply to the City for co-funding of the replacement of their old stoves can expect a 100% reimbursement of the investment cost,” the Mayor assured.

Coal-fired systems cannot be banned overnight. A decision on such a serious tightening of legislation needs to be well informed and rational. We are happy to hear Warsaw’s declaration of readiness to pursue these changes. We, as the Mazovian Regional Government, commit ourselves to providing organisational and financial assistance, from both EU resources and our regional budget,” stressed Elżbieta Lanc, Member of the Mazovian Regional Board.

In the document signed at the Clean Air Congress, the City and regional authorities declare that, along with closely cooperating on introducing more stringent anti-smog legislation, they will exchange reliable information to facilitate proper diagnostics of air pollution problems. It further appears essential to become more effective in enforcing the Anti-Smog Act. The signatories have also undertaken to launch informational and educational campaigns to raise the residents’ awareness of air pollution threats both in Warsaw and across the Mazovian Region. Cooperation will be established with other partners to expand the scope and improve the effectiveness of these pro-ecological measures.

Combatting smog
In 2019, Warsaw accepted around 800 applications for stove replacement subsidies from private premises. Those investments were either made in 2019 or are to be implemented in early 2020. Since January, thanks to increased subsidies and simplified procedures, the application submission process has materially accelerated.
Last year, the City managed to eliminate 543 black-smoke belching stoves from its municipal housing resources. Another thousand stoves are yet to be replaced, and we are expecting this to be done, in a vast majority, by the end of 2021.
We have also intensified our planting efforts. Last year alone, the City planted around 130,000 new trees that help to clean local air. Finally, Warsaw has invariably opted for environmentally-friendly transport.