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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Poland 2015

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Poland 2015

The OECD Environmental Performance Review Programme provides independent assessments of countries’ progress in achieving their domestic and international environmental policy commitments, together with policy relevant recommendations. They are conducted to promote peer learning, to enhance governments’ accountability to each other and to the public, and to improve countries’ environmental performance, individually and collectively. The reviews are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data. Each cycle of the Environmental Performance Reviews covers all OECD member countries and selected partner countries. The most recent reviews include: Iceland (2014), Sweden (2014), Colombia (2014).

This report is the third OECD review of Poland’s environmental performance. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on forestry and biodiversity, as well as waste and materials management.

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Executive summary

Since its accession to the European Union in 2004, Poland has experienced impressive economic growth. This has allowed living standards and environmental performance to improve. Supported by EU funds, increased investment in infrastructure has extended access to water services. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste generation, water withdrawal and emissions of several air pollutants have been decoupled from economic growth. More than half of Polish citizens consider the state of the environment in their neighbourhood to be good. However, Poland’s GDP per capita still ranks among the bottom five OECD countries, and economic and environmental disparities remain within and among regions. The Polish economy is among the most resource- and carbon-intensive in the OECD due to heavy reliance on coal. In 2012, average air concentrations of health-damaging fine particulate matter were the highest in Europe.

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