Air pollution - Drivers and pressures (Poland)

Common environmental theme expired
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This content has been archived on 21 Mar 2015, reason: A new version has been published
SOER Common environmental theme from Poland
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 21 Mar 2015

In the 1990s and the first years of this century, a regular fall in emissions of all main air pollutants was observed in Poland, particularly of sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide. This fall was largely associated with the restructuring and modernisation of the energy and industrial sectors, and improvements in the quality of coal. Since 2003, emissions of the majority of pollutants have been comparable or, as in the case of sulphur dioxide, emissions have fallen year by year, but not to the same degree as in the 1990s (Fig. 5).

It is worth pointing out that the systematic development of the Polish economy in terms of GDP has not resulted in an increase in atmospheric emissions. This is the result of the increasing use of environmentally friendly technologies (Fig. 6).

The effect of balancing the environmental impact of dynamic economic development by implementing modern technological and technical solutions is particularly expressed in transport. Over the past decade, approximately 6.5 million vehicles have been registered in Poland, but this has not translated into increased emissions in this sector (Fig. 7).

At the same time, increasing living standards in Poland and growing environmental awareness among the general public mean that people are more willing to use environmentally friendly methods in their households. The growing amount of environmental data and information, and its increasing accessibility, play an important role in raising environmental awareness and shaping environmentally friendly behaviour.

Fig. 5: Emissions of the main air pollutants in 1990-2007 as against the national emissions limits incorporated in the Treaty of Accession within the scope of Directive 2001/81/EC (Source: MŚ)

Fig. 6: Changes in levels of main air emissions compared with GDP in 1998-2008 (Source: GUS, MŚ)

Fig. 7: Emissions from road transport in Poland against number of vehicles and tractors 1998-2008 (Source: GUS, MŚ)



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