Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Poland.

Since it moved to a market economy in 1989, Poland’s economy has doubled in size and emissions have gone down by a third, largely driven by the closure of inefficient and energy-intensive plants. However, coal provides 80% of the country’s electricity, contributing to poor air quality; 33 of the 50 European cities with the worst air quality are in Poland. However, it has indicated that coal use will decline more rapidly by 2040, shifting to nuclear power, renewable energy and high-efficiency cogeneration.

The EU committed to become carbon neutral by 2050, however Poland is exempt from this, saying that it ‘can’t commit to implement this objective’ and will pursue it ‘at its own pace’. Poland will become the bloc’s second largest source of carbon after Germany when the UK leaves the EU. 

Despite having no real plan to abandon coal or commit to the carbon neutrality goal, Poland is allowed to access EU money designed to reach the goal without having to change its climate stance. The prime minister promised that Poland is building its plan to achieve carbon neutrality, but soon after announced plans to create a $33 million reserve of hard coal, propping up demand for coal mining. 

Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Poland

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Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index Ranking image description: Poland Rankings – Policy: 61, Pollution: 50, Climate Change: 50, Oceans: 152, Biodiversity: 186, Energy: 22, Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index Ranking 109.