Govt. to invest billions to clean up smog

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a press conference PAP/Paweł Supernak/PAP

The Polish government will invest PLN 130 billion in the "clean air" program to combat smog and high air pollution.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference on Thursday that the Polish government intends to solve the problem of smog within 5-10 years by dedicating funds for improving energy efficiency and the thermo-modernization of homes.

He said: “I am very glad that I have the opportunity to inaugurate this extremely important program for Polish society. This program will lead to, in the next 5-10 years, a noticeable, measurably cleaner air. This is a great program to improve housing and improve air quality. The funds will be available in the form of reductions and direct subsidies for people who cannot afford thermo-modernization of single-family or multi-family buildings on their own.”

He added that the government would work to correct the flaws that its predecessors had left on the issue of smog, saying: "For many years they neglected the issue and did nothing."

Finance Minister Teresa Czerwińska announced that as part of creating incentives to fight smog, the taxpayer will be able to deduct expenses related to the thermo-modernization of single-family buildings from income.

The "clean air" program will operate as a pilot in 33 cities in Poland that are on the list of the 50 cities with the highest air pollution according to the World Health Organization (WHO) list. Many large cities in Poland suffer from heavy smog, mainly due to outdated methods of heating houses in the winter.

Fighting smog is among the top priorities of the Polish government. Last May, Morawiecki announced that his government would work on ways to reduce air pollution and improve living conditions for Polish residents.