Poland: 2050 climate neutrality feasible and beneficial - report

Posted on October, 15 2020

Net-zero would bring 81,000 more jobs in electric vehicles, 24,000 in buildings sectors in Poland
As EU leaders prepare to discuss climate change today, a new report shows Poland can achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest and reap huge benefits, including thousands of new jobs. 

Poland is the only EU country that has yet to commit to implementing an EU climate neutrality target for 2050. The 2050 target is due to be enshrined in the upcoming EU climate law along with an increased 2030 target, which for WWF needs to be for at least 65% emissions cuts. 

The new research, from WWF Poland with input from over 100 experts, shows what Poland needs to do in four key sectors (buildings, transport, electricity, and agriculture, forestry and land use) to reach net zero, and the positive results. 81,000 additional jobs could be created in the electric vehicles sector alone, for example, and 24,000 in the construction sector. 

WWF is calling for all EU leaders at their meeting today to get behind climate neutrality by 2040 and a 65% emissions reductions target for 2030, which is the minimum the science says is needed if we are to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C and avoid catastrophic climate impacts. The European Parliament recently supported a 60% target for 2030.

Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy Office said: 
“We are facing a terrible health crisis and climate crisis but with rapid action, unity and vision, EU governments can start to build a fair, resilient and sustainable future. This means acting now to provide a safe climate: EU leaders have a responsibility today to build on the recent Parliament vote and endorse an emissions reduction target of at least 65% by 2030 to give us the best chance.”

Mirosław Proppe, CEO of WWF Poland said: 
“Poland has no more reasons to drag its feet. Getting climate neutral by 2050 latest is tough but achievable and would bring multiple benefits - and many Polish citizens, entrepreneurs and local authorities are on board. Poland is the biggest recipient of the EU Just Transition Fund and will also receive recovery funds, so the means are there to finance the transition. Poland must show the other EU leaders that it is ready to play its part in modernising its economy and tackling the climate emergency.”

The report’s recommendations for Poland include: 
  • Agriculture: Achieve climate neutrality in the agricultural sector. This can be done by adopting no-till farming, rationalising fertiliser use, using technology to help manage livestock, and increasing use of biogas from wastes and residues as well as shifting diets.
  • Land use and forestry: increase the absorption and permanence of carbon storage in forests. Stop the drainage of wetlands, a substantive source of greenhouse gases emissions. 
  • Buildings: Introduce a zero-emission buildings standard with mass deployment from 2025; thermal insulation combined with renewable energy for existing buildings.
  • Electricity: Set a path for a coal phase out by 2030.  Plan the transformation of the energy sector and help a just transition in mining regions.
  • Transport: Electrification of transport and change how people move around. Electric vehicles, expanding charging infrastructure, zero-emission zones in cities, with priority to public transit, walking and cycling combined with improving the quality of railways and public transit.
In the EU climate law, WWF is calling for:
  • The EU to agree a 65% emissions reduction target for 2030, and climate neutrality by 2040
  • Scrapping or changing any policies inconsistent with achieving EU climate targets
  • EU-funded recovery policies to be consistent with the net-zero target
  • An EU roadmap to show the path to climate neutrality
  • A scientific advisory body to provide independent expert scrutiny on EU climate policy
  • An end to fossil fuel advertising and sponsorship
Read our executive summary of the report (in English)
Read the full report (in Polish)

On Poland:
Oskar Kulik
Climate & Energy Policy Officer
WWF Poland
Mob: +48 785 851 411

On EU:
Imke Lübbeke
Head of Climate and Energy

Sarah Azau 
Media manager
+32 473 573 13
Coal mining region of Silesia in Poland
© Rafal Kazmierczak