Polish development aid is strongly linked with the 2030 Sustainable Agenda. The Polish Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2021-2030, in the context of climate, is based on several international frameworks and agreements, such as the:

  • Addis Ababa Action Agenda

  • Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (the so-called Aichi Objectives)

  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030

  • New European Consensus on Development.

According to the Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2021-2030, Polish official development assistance (ODA) recognises that climate change is the biggest threat that mankind has faced in the last decades. Within this Multilateral Development Co-operation Programme, Polish ODA will support all levels of public administration in partner countries, in developing their ability to plan and implement sustainable development.

The Ministry of Finance participates in the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. The Coalition brings together fiscal and economic policy makers from over 50 countries in leading the global climate response and in securing a just transition towards low-carbon, resilient development. It adopted six aspirational principles called the Helsinki Principles, whose main aim is to promote national climate actions, especially through fiscal policy and the use of public finance. As part of the works of the Coalition, Ministry of Finance representatives participated in regular Sherpa’s meetings, carried out both independently and during COP and International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank meetings.

Furthermore, the European Union has set out the Green Deal to become its new growth strategy and the cornerstone of its external action. Thus, Poland has also committed to redoubling its efforts to align all its policies, including development efforts and foreign aid, with the goal of climate neutrality. In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this engagement also translates into the commitment to make economic post-pandemic policies sustainable.

Climate is one of the Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) priority areas established in Poland. In this context, the target is to take into account climate in sectoral policies, which have an impact on developing countries. The main target is to ensure that the development efforts are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and global goals. Concrete areas of possible activities and concrete actions of aid in developing countries within the Polish development co-operation aligned with the 2030 Agenda as far as environment and climate are concerned are listed in the Polish Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2021-2030 and in the Polish Plan of Development Co-operation for 2021 (with the expected results).

The Polish development co-operation programme has long sought to address international challenges of a various nature. The Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2016–2020 and the Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2021-2030, encompassing the entire Polish ODA, underlines that Polish ODA aims to address global challenges (such as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development), European challenges (New European Consensus on Development) and regional challenges (especially in the Eastern Partnership countries and Africa).

Polish assistance is aligned with the 2030 Agenda, addressing the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development, aiming to reduce the negative effects of climate change on the planet and societies, such as natural disasters, changing geopolitical conditions and human displacement.

In the Polish Multilateral Development Co-operation Programme for 2021-2030, climate is one of the priority areas of Polish development co-operation and climate is also a cross-sectoral topic. It means that Poland committed to promote tackling climate-change-related issues in all Polish aid actions, in both bilateral and multilateral co-operation, operational plans, inventing new tools, and regulatory mechanisms. Due to the priority nature of the climate issue, Poland also supports the design and implementation of policies related to mitigating climate change, including emissions trading and monitoring as well as the prevention of natural disasters. Moreover, in line with the SDG Agenda, Polish aid helps partner countries in developing their renewable energy sources, infrastructure and deployment; protecting their biodiversity; ensuring water security and availability; and designing sustainable cities. In addition, Poland supports its closest neighbours from the Eastern Partnership in their convergence with EU regulations and standards.

In the previous programming and financial perspective (the Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2016-2020), Poland established two priority areas in its Policy Coherence for Development programme, which is part of a broader process, namely Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD), i.e. fighting illicit financial flows (IFF) (tax avoidance/tax evasion and money laundering) and the promotion and implementation of corporate social responsibility/responsible business conduct (CSR/RBC) standards. Poland considers that these two PCD areas are connected with climate issues. Fighting IFF has the aim of ensuring better domestic resources mobilisation, which can be used for fighting climate change, whereas the implementation of CSR/RBC standards has environmental elements, such as, for example, global supply chains or responsible production and consumption.

New priority areas under PCD, namely climate and sustainable cities and societies, have been added to the current programming and financial perspective of Poland’s development co-operation (2021-30). This means that climate mitigation and climate change, also focussing on developing countries, should be taken into account by other ministries in their domestic policies. The very horizontal aspect of these priority areas will ensure a whole-of-government approach.

In the Polish Multilateral Development Co-operation Programme for 2021-2030, climate is one of the priority areas of Polish development co-operation and is also a cross-sectoral topic.

As far as Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is concerned, public administration bodies will compile annual reports on implementing the established priority areas in PCD, such as climate. The documents will be submitted to the Development Co-operation Program Council affiliated with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This Council consists of representatives of ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), business and academia. In this way, the principle of inclusiveness is ensured. Moreover, the participation of a representative from the Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology (responsible for the co-ordination of the 2030 Agenda and PCSD) in the Development Co-operation Programme Program Council is a guarantee for a connection between two processes: PCD and PCSD.

As far as multilateral co-operation is concerned, representatives of the Polish Ministry of Finance participating in the work of the European Union and international financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank Group, support the adjustment of their policies to the provisions of the Paris Agreement.

According to the Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2021-2030, Polish multilateral development aid should consider development priority areas and development objectives set up in this programme, among which is climate.

Poland uses multilateral channels to raise additional financing for development. This includes contributions to trust funds managed by international financial institutions. For instance, by participating in the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EPTATF) managed by EIB, Poland co-financed technical assistance operations related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Eastern Partnership countries. Additionally, through participation in the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P Fund) managed by EBRD, Poland as a donor to this fund supported a number of municipal investments in energy efficiency and environmental projects in the Eastern Partnership region. This includes projects concerning district heating; energy efficiency in public buildings (schools, kindergartens, hospitals); energy-saving measures in residential housing; renewable energy (including biomass); street lighting; water and wastewater treatment; and solid waste management in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and the Ukraine.

Moreover, climate and environmental issues are included in the projects realised within the Economic Resilience Initiative Fund (ERIF), a financial vehicle managed by the EIB designed to boost economic resilience in the European Union’s Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans. By providing concessional capital to ERIF, Poland as a donor supports projects by way of co-financing: investment grants, interest rates subsidies, equity participation and guarantees. ERIF sectoral priorities include support for private sector development, infrastructure, and climate action, viewed as important to improving the provision of basic public services and creating an enabling environment for private-sector-led growth.

In 2019, Poland launched, in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a competitive scheme (challenge fund) to allocate financial support to innovative projects aligned with SDGs in partner countries. This instrument also helps implement projects with a climate and environment dimension. It aims to solicit market solutions that bring measurable development impact. Eligible applicants include private sector entities and academia (universities, research centres) that can transfer know-how and solutions in response to development challenges. The funding is provided up to USD 40 000 per initiative. Applicants are expected to contribute with a minimum of 20% co-financing, which counts for the private sector’s investment in support of SDGs. The awardees are required to engage local partners to assure viability and sustainability. The Fund was in operation in 2019 and 2020 (in Belarus and the Ukraine). Two additional editions are planned for Armenia, Georgia and the Ukraine, with an approximate ODA allocation of USD 0.85 million.

In accordance with the new Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2021-2030, the Development Co-operation Department plans to prepare development co-operation country strategies for individual priority countries of Polish Aid, with an initial three-year period of validity, in which climate as a crosscutting issue will be of course taken into consideration.

As far as Poland’s participation as a donor in the EIB and EBRD trust funds (EPTATF and E5P) is concerned, environmental risk assessment is conducted by the above-mentioned financial institutions.

According to the Multi-annual Development Co-operation Programme 2021-2030, by conducting evaluation tasks, Poland follows the principles and evaluation standards drawn up primarily by the OECD and the European Union.

Poland’s support to developing countries to achieve their own transitions translates into financial aid and logistical support. Poland is not one of the Parties listed in Annex II to the Climate Convention; therefore, it is not obliged to fulfil the commitments under Articles 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5 of the Convention related to providing financial aid and assistance to developing countries in their path to comply with the Convention requirements. However, Poland implements a considerable number of assistance programmes and actions strictly on a voluntary basis, granting financial assistance to developing countries through bilateral and multilateral channels as part of its ODA. Multilateral assistance is granted mainly through contributions to the assistance budget of the European Union. In addition to the European Union, United Nations Funds and Programmes and the World Bank Group are important intermediaries in the transfer of Poland’s multilateral assistance.

Poland did not report activities in this area.

Poland is committed to providing partner countries with the right tools and knowledge on how to conduct a successful transition towards net-zero. According to the Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration, adopted by world leaders on the initiative of the Polish Presidency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP24, the social aspect is crucial to an effective transition towards a low-emissions economy and to gaining broad social acceptance of the changes that are taking place, while development instruments have the potential to create decent jobs and increase resilience to climate change. Therefore, in all its development policies, Poland is vigilant to ensure that the social aspect of the transition is not forgotten and that no one is left behind.

One of the objectives of Poland’s development assistance is environmental protection, including the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Poland provides financial support to organisations taking action to protect the climate, such as the UNFCCC, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Montreal Protocol, the International Atomic Energy Agency-Technical Cooperation Fund (IAEA-TCF), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Council of Europe Development Bank.

Areas of support include a broad range of aspects: basic drinking water supply and management; fire and rescue services; disaster prevention and preparedness; exchange of experience on climate policies; raising awareness; waste management/disposal; environmental policy and administrative management; popularisation of innovative energy efficiency technologies; and development of renewable energy sources.

Article 16 of the EU greenhouse gas Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR) requires EU member states to report financial and technology support provided to developing countries, including information on support for mitigation, adaptation, capacity building and technology transfer and, if possible, information as to whether financial resources are new and additional.

Climate-related bilateral assistance is granted primarily to the Eastern Partnership and African countries. The main beneficiaries of this assistance in 2019 included: Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Myanmar, the Republic of Moldova, Palestinian Authority, Tanzania and the Ukraine.

More information can be found in the Biennial Reports, submitted by Poland to the UNFCCC Secretariat every two years. Poland also develops a number of programmes, platforms and exchanges of good practices to help developing countries in their transition pathways. Information about Poland’s climate-related assistance in 2013-18 can be found on page 153 of the 4th Biennial Report.

Lastly, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (Narodowy Fundusz Ochrony Środowiska i Gospodarki Wodnej) participated in the efforts to support partner countries’ transitions. The mission of the Fund is to improve the environment and sustainable management of its resources by means of stable, efficient and effective support for projects and initiatives for the environment. It finances several projects outside of Poland. Furthermore, works are ongoing to extend the scope of activities financed by the Fund in developing country Parties in the form of a “Polish Climate Support” mechanism, which is due to constitute an additional instrument of Poland’s climate finance. Conceptual works on this matter are expected to be finalised soon.

Poland supported the preparation of the OECD report, Strengthening of the Role of Private Finance in Infrastructure Development in the Eastern Partner Countries, which was presented during a webinar on 25 November 2020 within the framework of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme. The report was financed by voluntary contributions provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology. The report includes detailed recommendations for institutional reforms that may help attract private or public-private partnership (PPP) investments to the Eastern Partnership countries. This is an important report as it is the first to conduct an analysis on this subject with regard to all Eastern Partnership Countries.

Poland also allocates funds to promoting technological development in developing countries. The Ministry of Environment, in the framework of the UN Climate Conference, which took place in Poland in December 2008, prepared the Green Technology Accelerator (GreenEvo) project. The programme aimed to create favourable conditions for the dissemination of environmental protection technologies in Poland and abroad, offered by Polish entrepreneurs. GreenEvo supports the identification of the technological needs of developing countries and assesses the ability of these suppliers to meet these needs. In 2013–16, almost 40% of GreenEvo's projects were deployed to developing countries (3rd Biennial Report).

As shown in the 4th Biennial Report (Table 8), Poland also transfers technology and support to developing countries to help them mitigate climate change. Technology and innovation are key to mitigating the impact and adapting to the consequences of climate change.

As a strong defender of closer ties between the Eastern Partnership and the European Union, Poland has initiated many programmes supporting these countries’ transformation. A flagship programme that was recently conducted is the Energy Efficiency Training and Auditing Project (E-ETAP) in the Ukraine.

The programme aims to create a training system for energy auditors in the Ukraine. In their daily work, auditors provide knowledge about the process of thermo-modernisation, which makes it possible to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and, consequently, to decarbonise this sector of the economy. The programme offered training on energy efficiency, co-operation with Ukrainian and international institutions and assistance in the development of a Ukraine-wide energy auditor training programme with training materials in Ukrainian by trainee energy auditors trained in Poland. In 2019 and 2020, 200 people per session were trained.

Bearing in mind the principles of development co-operation, including the criterion of effectiveness, and considering previous experiences, comparative advantages and alignment with Poland’s foreign policy priorities, Polish development co-operation activities focus on selected geographical areas: the European Neighbourhood Policy, including the Eastern Partnership Countries and selected Middle Eastern, North African and Sub-Saharan countries However, with the European Union, Poland recognises that adaptation and resilience to climate change is a matter of priority and even survival for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Poland planned contribution to the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to support participation of LDCs and SIDS in the work of the Human Rights Council. The aim of the Trust Fund is to ensure contribution to the work of the Council by LDSs/SIDS, especially those without permanent representation in Geneva. This in turn supports their capabilities to raise climate-related topics in line with their particular interests (such as implications of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights or recognising the right to a clean environment as a human right) and successfully includes them in the Council’s deliberations.

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