Poland rolls out new law enhancing anti-smog programmes

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Credits and loans granted for ecological projects will enjoy repayment guarantees and sureties from a special fund set up under the amended act on supporting thermal modernisation, signed by President Andrzej Duda on Friday.

The amendment is meant to upgrade two governmental anti-smog programmes, "Stop smog" and "Clean air", so that more people can benefit from funds designed for thermomodernisation of buildings and the replacement of furnaces with more ecological heat sources, the President's Office has said.

The new Ecological Surety and Guarantee Fund will be established, as part of the Clean Air programme, at the BGK state bank. Resources will come from Poland's National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOSiGW).

The signed amendment will also make more NFOSiGW funds available to local governments for the implementation of pro-ecological investments.

The new regulations pertaining to the Stop Smog programme foresee a reduction, from 2 to 1 percent, in the minimum number of single-family buildings, which allows local governments to apply for funds from the programme.

The amendment also provides for the establishment of a Central Emission Register of Buildings, in the form of a "virtual map" of buildings along with information on the type of heating they use. The IT tool will be used to create an inventory of sources of low emissions from buildings.

The budget of the "Stop smog" programme, to be implemented by the end of 2024, is estimated at PLN 1.2 billion (EUR 268,000). The initiative targets municipalities where the concentration of air pollutants exceeds EU standards.