Press release: 17 April 2023
Polish government urged to adopt climate law, amid broad public support
- Polling figures released by environmental law organisation ClientEarth shows that almost 70% of Poles support stronger climate measures in law.
- This comes as ClientEarth lawyers publish a comprehensive draft climate law, urging policymakers to adopt it.
Data commissioned by ClientEarth reveals that the adoption of stronger climate protection measures in Poland is backed by almost 70% of Poles (69%).
Support for other climate measures is also high. A legally-binding timeline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is supported by 73% and allocating 1% of GDP to the fight against climate change by more than three quarters of Poles (76%).
All of these measures are part of ClientEarth’s proposed climate law – the first comprehensive legal framework that would help the country reach climate neutrality by 2050.
Poland has long been labelled a climate laggard in the EU – it remains the only EU Member State not to commit to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. It is currently ranked near the bottom of international rankings on climate effort.
Poland relies heavily on the most climate-damaging fossil fuel – with more than 70% of its power coming from coal. The Polish Government foresees coal mining continuing until 2049 – despite scientists warning that coal needs to be urgently phased out.
Poland has yet to adopt its own climate law – unlike other countries in the EU such as Hungary, France and Spain. Other EU countries such as Slovakia are in the process of developing such laws.
Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz, head of ClientEarth’s Polish office, said: “Alarmingly, Poland doesn’t have a legally-binding plan to tackle climate change – one of the most pressing issues of our time. It’s seriously lagging behind other countries when it comes to climate action.”
“Yet, there’s broad public support for a wide array of climate measures that will deliver lower electricity bills and good-paying jobs.”
“We’ve put together a draft law that needs to serve as a serious wake-up call to finally spur the Government to action. Our climate needs it. The public supports it. It’s a no brainer.”
Among other measures, the proposed law would:
- Set a legally-binding target for Poland to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest
- Earmark at least 1% of GDP a year to climate protection
- Introduce an obligation to check whether harm the climate
- Establish an independent statutory body to provide science-based advice to the government on climate policy, similar to the UK’s Climate Change Committee
Marcin Stoczkiewicz, ClientEarth lawyer who led the drafting of the law, added: “The Polish economy needs a credible climate neutrality strategy. The adoption of these measures will enable Poland to pursue a comprehensive and cohesive climate policy and achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.”
ClientEarth Prawnicy dla Ziemi Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Warsaw with a team consisting of more than 30 people. It has been operating in Poland for 13 years and it is using the power of law to make systemic changes to protect Poland's environment, the planet and its people. The Foundation is a part of ClientEarth, a global NGO with a team of over 250 people across eight offices, dedicated to protecting life on Earth and working in over 50 countries.