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Warsaw's adaptation to climate change will be led by a special team

09 of February '24

Warsaw declares a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality in 2050. The just-established Climate Action Team is to help achieve these goals.

Appointed by Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, the team is tasked with coordinating the city's activities in achieving its climate goals. Warsaw officials say the city wants to set trends in climate action, including as part of C40 - a global network of mayors of the world's leading cities who have united in action to address the climate crisis. The city has also adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and a Green Vision for Warsaw. The document indicates what actions need to be taken to reach climate neutrality, which the City has declared for 2050. It is also the main document setting the directions and goals of the capital's climate policy.

The Green Vision, through long-term directions and 27 specific short-term actions, indicates what the city must do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The document is based on six main areas: energy infrastructure, buildings, urban planning and blue-green infrastructure, transportation, municipal waste, building social capital and integration. Some of these topics were also addressed in the draft of a new study for Warsaw, which failed to pass before the law change, and will now be revised.

Read more: Warsaw abandons work on new Study

Under the EU-funded Climate Contract, we will implement pioneering solutions in two districts - Ursynów and Praga-South. As a result, we aim to reduce harmful emissions by a minimum of 80 percent in both of them by 2030 , says Rafal Trzaskowski.

Officials maintain that the city has been pursuing a consistent climate policy for many years, based on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency and adapting to climate change. The capital is also participating in a growing number of pro-climate projects and initiatives of an interdisciplinary nature. In order to more effectively coordinate these activities on a city-wide level, the Mayor of Warsaw has established a Climate Action Team. It is composed of representatives of various offices of the Warsaw City Hall and other city entities. The nature and form of the team are also intended to facilitate the exchange of information and experience.

Such action is certainly necessary, especially in the field of transportation investments, although bicycle infrastructure is being developed, the rate of its growth is unsatisfactory. There are also still investments that completely ignore the assumptions of sustainable transportation and do not include changes that would reduce traffic and emissions. An example of such a controversial and unacceptable investment from the point of view of modern climate challenges is the reconstruction of Pulawska Street, where pedestrians and cyclists were forgotten.

Read more: Bicycles won't pass. Warsaw does not want to be a second Paris

However, the concrete measures that officials declare are primarily investments in Warsaw Public Transportation. The subway is successively developing (here, too, there is no shortage of controversy over the selection of the least profitable line to be implemented first), new streetcar routes are being built, and the rolling stock is becoming more and more environmentally friendly. According to plans, the number of conventionally powered buses will be reduced by as much as half by 2030. Today there are 353 gas buses, 162 electric and 70 hybrid buses on the capital's streets. Also more climate-friendly are the Impuls 2 trains, which can be used by passengers of Warsaw's SKM since 2022.

Read more: Air happy, will ride the subway!

There are photovoltaic installations on more than 200 city buildings. Warsaw's water utility also uses similar solutions, although the main renewable energy source for the company is biogas produced by sewage sludge digestion. Last year, the capital's MPWiK met almost 1/3 of its annual energy needs from renewable sources.

Warsaw also provides subsidies for the installation of RES installations by residents. More than 4,000 such subsidies have been granted in the last 5 years alone. Warsaw residents who want to eliminate an environmentally unfriendly heating source can also count on municipal support. Over the past few years, the number of fossil fuels in the city has fallen by more than 80 percent.

Therole of the Climate Team will be to coordinate such initiatives and projects and to recommend to the mayor further measures for sustainable development and achieving climate neutrality.

Kacper Kępiński

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