Mar. 25, 2019 -- The next European Union budget could bring up to 8 billion euros (9 billion US dollars) in funds for Poland to fight smog, Polish media reported on Wednesday.
Gazeta Wyborcza, one of the largest Polish newspapers quotes documents from the European Commission it has seen, which indicate this sum could be available to finance Polish efforts to fight smog under the next EU Budget, covering the period 2021-2027.
"The Polish economy is one of the least effective in terms of CO2 emissions," writes the European Commission document.
This money would be added to the already substantial financial commitments made by the Polish government and various local authorities to combating smog.
Last year, the central government launched the "Clean Air" program which would make 103 billion zloty (27 billion US dollars) available - via grants and loans - over 12 years for exchanging polluting household stoves and the thermo-modernisation of buildings.
The newspaper notes, however, that only 147 contracts were signed with beneficiaries under the national program since the call for projects was launched last September and that the European Commission has called for simplifying the procedures for accessing the funds under "Clean Air".
The burning of poor quality coal or even trash in old household boilers is considered to be one of the main causes of smog in the Polish capital and elsewhere around the country.
According to the World Health Organisation, 33 out of the most polluted 50 cities in the EU are located in Poland. In many cities, the number of days when the average daily concentration of PM10 is above the limit exceeds one third of the year.