Smog in Poland not so much a problem of coal as of stoves: PwC expert

“The smog problem is not connected with... coal in itself, it is connected with [coal-heated] small houses in Poland”, said Jakub Kurasz, the Head of Communications at PwC Poland, in an interview for Poland In, in which he analyses the results of the COP24 climate conference recently concluded in Katowice, southern Poland.

We have to change the whole heating system and invest a lot of money in thermo-insulation, the expert added.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki promised in September to allocate PLN 100 bn (EUR 23.2 bn) to fight smog in Poland within a “Clean Air” programme to be implemented over the next 12 years.

One of the main tasks of the programme is the country-wide replacement of coal burning stoves in private households and some public premises. The money is supposed to help people with less income to cover the replacement expenses, up to 90 percent of the costs.

In total, it is estimated that stoves will be replaced in at least 4 million households.

Air pollution in Poland is amongst the worst in Europe. The World Health Organisation reported that 45 out of 100 European cities with the highest rate of air pollution are in Poland.

Regardless of the government programme, stove-replacement drives have been initiated by some local authorities. On Wednesday a PLN 300 million (EUR 70 mln) allocation to this purpose was promised by the mayor of Warsaw. The Polish capital is estimated to have at least 15,000 coal-fuelled furnaces that need to be replaced in private buildings and over 1,600 on municipal premises.

The full interview with Mr Kurasz can be watched on Poland In TV.