Warsaw’s mayor has appointed a new climate team - but what are their goals?

Can Rafal Trzaskowski - pictured here in 2018 - help Warsaw achieve its climate goals?
Can Rafal Trzaskowski - pictured here in 2018 - help Warsaw achieve its climate goals? Copyright Alik Keplicz/The AP/File
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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The mayor of Poland’s capital, Rafał Trzaskowski, has ambitious goals for climate neutrality in Warsaw

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Warsaw’s mayor is determined to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050.

To achieve this goal, Rafał Trzaskowski has appointed a new climate team to help him reach this target.

Trzaskowski, who became mayor of Warsaw in 2018, has won international acclaim for his persistence towards a city with reduced greenhouse gas emissions as well as increasing energy efficiency and adapting to climate change.

Speaking to the Polish News website, Trzaskowski’s team said: “In order to coordinate these activities more effectively at the city-wide level, the Mayor of the Capital City of Warsaw has established a Climate Team. It includes representatives of various offices of the City Hall of the Capital City of Warsaw and other municipal entities.”

“The nature and form of the team are also intended to facilitate mutual exchange of information and experiences,” they added.

What is the ‘Green Vision of Warsaw’?

Warsaw is one of the first cities in Poland to announce the aim of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.

Leaders there are currently implementing the so-called Green Vision of Warsaw - effectively a road map to achieve the goal and focus on the capital’s climate policy.

Warsaw-based politicians are concerned that newly-elected prime minister Donald Tusk’s government is too focused on incentives rather than bans, as is the case in much of the rest of the EU.

They claim that Tusk’s idea to encourage each EU country to decide how it deals with energy is flawed.

“The Green Vision, through long-term directions of action and 27 specific short-term actions, indicates what the city must do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” a spokesperson for Trzaskowski told Polish News.

“The document is based on six main areas: energy infrastructure, buildings, spatial planning and blue-green infrastructure, transport, municipal waste, building social capital and integration.”

A view of Warsaw's city centre
A view of Warsaw's city centreElijah G via Unsplash

What is Warsaw doing to cut emissions?

Officials say the city is already taking real actions which translate into reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

The capital also invests heavily in renewable energy sources as well as providing subsidies for the installation of renewable energy sources.

Trzaskowski’s spokesperson said: “Over the last 5 years alone, over 4,000 such subsidies have been granted. Residents of Warsaw who want to eliminate non-ecological heating sources can also count on city support.”

The mayor also claims his administration has planted around 100,000 trees over the last year.

He is hoping that his newly-appointed climate team will make Warsaw an even greener city - and one for the rest of Poland to be proud of.

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