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Transformation for 20 billion is the beginning of the cost of the Green Vision for Warsaw

26 of April '23

Warsaw's Green Vision, which will support the city government's efforts to achieve climate neutrality, has been adopted by city councilors. The document is designed so that both the long-term goals and the accompanying measures are ambitious, but also implementable. Their implementation will consume tens of billions of zlotys.

Local governments are facing increasing difficulties in financing „green” investment projects from their own budgets, while at the same time the need to combat climate change is growing. Joining the Green Cities network of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's program, helps in the pursuit of climate neutrality by developing an action plan and obtaining external funding. Warsaw was the first city in Poland to join the EBRD program. Arup was entrusted with developing the document. The program for Warsaw combines strategy-building tools with technical advice and identifies financing opportunities for green investments.

Plac Grzybowski

Grzybowski Square

photo: city of Warsaw

Cities play a key role in the implementation of global climate policy due to the level of greenhouse gas emissions associated with their operation. With this in mind, and in order to develop in a sustainable manner, the City of Warsaw has pledged to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality no later than 2050.

Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of the City of Warsaw

mapping the problems

Representatives of all the city's governing institutions were involved in the creation of the document. The development of the plan was first based on an analysis of the city's functioning. As part of the climate change adaptation program, areas of the city's functioning were analyzed, such as energy and heating, waste management, construction and transportation. The conclusions were used to create a map of activities, investment guidelines and models for their implementation. The document indicated Warsaw's most pressing environmental problems, and the implementation of the assumptions is expected to help overcome them.

Zielona Wizja Warszawy

Green Vision of Warsaw

photo: city of Warsaw

The developed action plan has already been approved, so in the near future we will be able to observe how the changes we have proposed come into effect. As a result, Warsaw will become an increasingly green and sustainable city. We are proud that Arup could support the capital in such an important change.

Ireneusz Kolodziej, Arup Project Director

ambitious goals

Panorama miasta

panorama of Warsaw

photo: city of Warsaw

Warsaw is aiming for climate neutrality by 2050. The city has set as an important direction a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2007 figures and seeks to go even further, aiming for further reductions in CO2 emissions so as to keep the level of Warsaw's greenhouse gas emissions within the limits set by the Paris Agreement. The most important challenges outlining the Vision's priorities are the urban heat island and drought phenomena, biodiversity loss, air pollution and emissions, waste generation and processing, flooding and floods.

huge costs

How important it is to provide adequate financing tools for the measures taken can be seen from the estimated costs of their implementation. According to calculations by the authors of the ZWW, the total cost of the measures that need to be taken to achieve the set goals will amount to 19.9 billion zlotys, an amount close to the entire annual expenses of the city. In addition, the total implementation of the proposed measures will also incur annual costs of more than PLN 635 million.

shield for the endangered

Inwentaryzacja emisji

inventory of gas emissions

photo: city of Warsaw

Where do these costs come from? Among the investments identified for implementation are very costly solutions, in terms of energy these include starting to generate electricity from renewable sources or creating a municipal green hydrogen program, which could be used to power, for example, hydrogen buses. In terms of buildings, more than 5 billion zlotys will be required to improve the energy efficiency of urban real estate, and in the category of nature conservation, the largest funds will be consumed by the protection and restoration of naturally valuable areas. Further development of rail transportation and emission-free bus transportation is also planned. In order to protect residents from the negative effects of the transformation, educational activities have been planned and, above all, to prevent the emergence of energy poverty, their cost is estimated at more than 4 billion zlotys.

consistency of activities

In addition to the investments described in the Green Vision for Warsaw, it is of utmost importance that the philosophy of the operation of city units also changes, and as a result, the shape of their current activities and ongoing investments. This is because the infrastructural changes introduced, resulting from already adopted plans, are often too conservative, subordinated to the interests of, for example, motorists, and in extreme cases even harmful to the environment and nullifying efforts to achieve climate neutrality.


Kacper Kępiński

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