Geopolitical Informations

38.53 million (2013)
Total area
312,679 km2

Main legislative bodies

  • Zgromadzenie Narodowe (National Assembly)

Latest News

The blurry future of Polish shale gas

At the end of last week, ConocoPhillips announced its intention to halt shale gas exploitations in Poland. The last energy giant company drilling the polish soil left after having invested roughly $220 million since 2009. Previously, several international energy firms such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Total SA and Chevron Corp. reached the same conclusion. These read more…

China launches first phase of national ETS

Chinese government on Tuesday (Dec.19) released details about the start of the long-awaited national carbon trading scheme, Reuters reports. Once operational, China’s ETS will read more...

Macron’s climate finance rally to accelerate global response to climate change

On the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate Agreement, the French presidency organized an international summit to increase climate financing to accelerate efforts to read more...

Climate Policy Facts


Year Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF ( MtCO2e) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per Capita ( tCO2e Per Capita) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per GDP ( tCO2e / Million $ GDP)
1990 432.74 11.35 1147.37
1991 431.05 11.27 1229.11
1992 420.47 10.96 1169.52
1993 419.7 10.91 1125.31
1994 413.18 10.72 1052.14
1995 412.29 10.68 981.63
1996 427.05 11.06 957.08
1997 415.8 10.76 870.2
1998 391.32 10.12 780.1
1999 381.04 9.86 726.72
2000 367.69 9.56 672.62
2001 364.73 9.54 659.26
2002 354.02 9.26 630.8
2003 365.14 9.56 626.37
2004 368.71 9.66 600.42
2005 368.18 9.65 578.62
2006 379.76 9.96 561.84
2007 379.43 9.95 525.68
2008 373.78 9.8 492.6
2009 360.63 9.45 467.78
2010 378.01 9.9 471.15
2011 374.42 9.72 446.78

The line chart shows the country’s carbon emissions by year, expressed in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) for emission totals, and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for per capita and per dollar of GDP values. It is based on data from CAIT platform provided by the World Resource Insititute, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

By selecting or deselecting each item, you can compare or give prominence to particular emission trends.



Energy Source Production (ktoe) TPES (ktoe)
Coal 56663,44 52282,00
Oil 975,94 23242,22
Natural gas 3822,04 13721,95
Nuclear 0 0
Hydro 209,75 209,75
Geothermal 18,27 18,27
Solar thermal 15,52 15,52
Solar photovoltaics 0,09 0,09
Tide, wave, ocean 0 0
Wind 519,53 519,53
Biomass 6495,36 6495,36
Biofuels 715,85 757,19
Waste 639,36 639,36

The double-doughnut chart shows the country’s energy production and TPES (Total Primary Energy Supply), expressed in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). It is built on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency libraries, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

The INNER RING represents the country’s energy production from each energy source, corresponding to the quantities of fuels extracted or produced.

The OUTER RING shows the country’s total primary energy supply of each fuel. It represents the net quantities of fuels made available on the domestic market, after foreign transfers and trading. According to IEA’s definition, TPES equals production plus imports minus exports minus international bunkers plus or minus stock changes.

Differences between production and TPES are significant as they highlight the actual country’s behaviour in the matter of a given energy source. Production values and TPES values of the same energy source may vary widely, especially in case of the much-traded fossil fuels.

Energy data refers to year 2013.

National Policy

National policy

Poland’s climate policy presents numerous challenges and opportunities, which are connected to the need for an energy transition that entails sustainable development. The country is characterized by a heavy reliance on coal, especially in the power sector, that results in substantial GHG emissions and a high energy intensity. A critical factor is the high dependence on Russian imports, which has a great influence on policy decisions. Energy security is therefore a high policy priority and the country is working in various directions to consolidate a secure energy supply.

A major driver for Poland’s climate policy is the European Union, which delineates a roadmap for addressing climate change through its directives and their targets. The EU 20-20-20 goals defined in the Climate Action and Renewable Energy package are translated at the national level in attaining by 2020 a growth in non-EU ETS emissions of not more than 14 percent from 2005 levels and a renewable energy share of 15 percent of final energy demand, including a 10 percent share in transport. An additional non-binding target to reduce energy consumption in Europe by 20 percent of the projected 2020 levels under a BAU scenario has been translated by the Energy Efficiency Directive into a national target of 13.6 Mtoe primary energy savings in 2020.

Under these circumstances, the strategy for the future envisions to keep exploiting domestic resources such as coal, while improving energy efficiency, renovating the existing power plant fleet and supporting clean technologies development.


Climate change

Poland lacks a national climate change policy, whereas most of the current course of action is driven by EU targets. Since 2011 the country has been working on The National Programme for a Low-Emission Economy Development, the Polish national plan for reducing GHG emissions, which supports green technology to foster growth and competitiveness. The draft, in preparation since 2011, is expected to be completed in 2015.

National Development Strategy 2020 (NDS) (2012)

This document encompasses a wide array of development areas in which mid-term targets are set out. Out of the nine development strategies included in the publication, the Strategy on Energy security and the Environment (2014) and the Strategy on Innovation and Efficiency of the Economy (2013) are the two that are directly connected to climate change issues. The former addresses climate change in the energy and environment sectors, defining targets in relation to energy efficiency, renewable energy deployment and smart metering; the latter aims to bolster the country’s competitiveness and innovativeness through a financial support to research and innovative companies.

Document of the Strategy on Energy Security and the Environment (2014) available in pdf format (in Polish)

Document of the Strategy on Innovation and Efficiency of the Economy (2013) available in pdf format (in Polish)

Act on Management of GHG Emissions and Other Substances (2009)

The Act regulates national emission trading in Poland, in accordance with UNFCCC and EU commitments. The three instruments under the Kyoto Protocol – Emission Trading, Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation – are introduced in Polish law.

The law specifies principles for emission trading, assigns responsibilities and defines the conditions for using the instruments. It also sets the rules for the National Green Investment Scheme (GIS), whereby various types of programs are implemented, including programs targeting energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, GHG sequestration and emission reduction or avoidance, adaptation, research and development, education. The purpose of the GIS it to ensure that financial resources generated from emission trading are directly or indirectly employed for climate protection, as requested by many OECD allowance buyers to overcome the issue of surplus of allowances in Central and Eastern Europe. The National Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW) is the authority in charge of managing the GIS.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_Act on the System to Manage GHG Emissions and Other Substances (2009)

Document on the types of programs available under the GIS available in pdf format: Poland_Regulation on types of programmes and projects under the GIS (2009)

More information available on NFOŚiGW webpage 

Poland’s Climate Policy: The strategies for GHG emission reductions in Poland until 2020 (2003)

The document constitutes the country’s flagship legislation in terms of climate policy. It addresses fundamental climate issues and outlines the actions to take in every sector of the economy (energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry, waste, etc). Moreover, it articulates the international commitment to curb GHG emissions by 6 percent from 1988 levels by 2008-2012, in compliance with the pledge under the Kyoto Protocol. A number of measures to tackle climate change are identified and promoted, among which renewable energy sources, carbon sequestration, incentives for energy-saving investments and research.

The document has not been updated since 2003, and therefore has scarce relevance with the current policy situation, which is largely changed due to the entrance in the European Union. The lack of an up-to-date climate policy has been filled up by EU regulations, a fact that lowered the need of amending the old legislation.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_Poland’s Climate Policy (2003)



National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (SPA 2020) (2013)

Adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2013, the strategy – the first Polish document addressing adaptation measures – is the result of a long preparation process that lasted over three years. Representatives from Ministries and research institutes worked together under the KLIMADA research program for the drafting of the document that represents the basis for the strategy. Climate change is predicted to have negative impacts on water resources, flooding and temperatures: these issues are addressed through the “climate proofing” of spatial planning and infrastructures, and through information campaigns for agriculture. The adaptation program refers to each sector of the economy in which such measures shall be taken, and envisages the mainstreaming of these measures into sectoral policies and related implementation programs. Key areas targeted by the strategy are agriculture and forestry, biodiversity, ecosystems and water resources, coastal zones, and infrastructures.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_SPA 2020 (2013)



Energy Policy of Poland until 2030 (EPP 2030) (2009)

Issued in November 2009 by the Ministry of Economy, EPP 2030 represents Poland’s long-term energy policy strategy and has an overarching role in the energy sector. It establishes a comprehensive amount of measures related to energy supply and demand.

The six pillars underpinning the energy policy strategy are the following:

  • Energy efficiency improvement
  • Enhancement of energy and fuel supply security
  • Diversification of the electricity generation mix
  • Development of renewable energy sources
  • Development of competitive fuel and energy markets
  • Reduction of environmental impacts of the power sector

In line with EU climate goals, EPP 2030 pursuits the targets of a 15 percent RE share in final energy consumption by 2020 and a 10 percent share of biofuels in transport by 2020 (with special regard to second generation biofuels development).

In order to ensure a secure and diversified energy supply, EPP 2030 focuses on the promotion and development of renewables, nuclear, cogeneration, as well as power grid modernization. On the demand side, activities include national energy efficiency targets and supporting measures, energy performance certificates and financial incentives for energy saving investments.

All measures supporting the long-term goals are carried out in the short term through action plans that are issued as annexes. The first of these, Action Plan for the years 2009-2012 (2009), should be superseded by a new one in the near future.

Document available in pdf format Poland_EPP 2030 (2009)

Action Plan 2009-2012 available in pdf format: Poland_Action Plan for the years 2009-2012 (2009)

Renewable Energy Sources Act (2015)

The law, known as the New RES Act, was adopted by the Parliament in February 2015, after five years of legislative process in which it underwent numerous changes, and will fully enter into force on January 1, 2016. The long-awaited regulation aims to bolster certainty for clean energy investments through a support scheme for renewable energy generation that supersedes previous rules set by the RES Regulation under the Energy Law Act (see below). A Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme guarantees the purchase of electricity from RE micro installations (up to 10 kW) at a fixed price, a measure that supports electricity prosumers.

The FIT scheme has limitations in duration and scope, with a lasting period of 15 years and a cap for the support for hydro and co-firing from biomass. This provision aims to fix the existing problematic situation in which co-firing biomass with coal is deemed as RE generation and is awarded Green Certificates. This has caused the price for Green Certificates to drop consistently due to the oversupply of biomass co-firing. With this regard, a corrective ratio will be introduced from 2016 to adjust the number of co-firing plants eligible for Green Certificates.

According to the new law, renewable energy sale operates through an auction mechanism that guarantees a fixed price regardless of market fluctuations for 15 years. RE producers that are already in operation can choose between the auction mechanism and the current FIT subsidies.

Document available in pdf format Poland_RES Act (2015) (in Polish)

Energy Law Act (1997, last amended 2015)

Energy Law Act of 1997 and later amendments set the framework for the Polish energy market, establishing regulatory instruments for energy generation, transmission, distribution and sale, defining the energy regulatory authority and obligation schemes such as energy efficiency labels. Under this system, small RE producers (under 5 MW) are provided reduced or zero fees for grid connection and license. Since 2005 energy companies are obliged to purchase or generate a certain quota of renewable energy, which is accounted through a Green Certificate scheme. The so-called RES Regulation that has been working since 2012 set progressively increasing mandatory quota targets for energy companies, reaching 20 percent in 2021. In addition, transmission and distribution operators have the obligation to accept RE-sourced electricity.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_Energy Law Act (1997)

Polish Nuclear Power Programme (PNPP) (2014)

Nuclear power is one of the main areas addressed in EPP 2030 (see above), as it is seen as a paramount resource to meet EU emission targets and increase energy security. The Polish Nuclear Programme, announced in January 2009, aimed to reach a nuclear energy production of 1 GW by 2020 and 4.5 GW by 2030, although the targets are not likely to be attained since the first nuclear plant should start operations not before 2024. The latest version of the PNPP was adopted in January 2014.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_Polish Nuclear Power Programme (2014)

National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) (2012)

NEAAPs describe the state of play of energy efficiency at the national level, in line with EU legislation (2006/32/EC), which requires to publish a new NEEAP every 3 years. The latest plan covers the time period 2011-2016 and includes a description of measures to improve energy efficiency, as well as calculations and forecasts of current and future energy savings.

Concerning energy efficiency, a large amount of programs are currently implemented in various sectors, many of which through the National Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW). Energy Efficiency in Houses (2013), a housing program lasting from 2013 to 2018, gives grants to households who build or refurbish houses improving energy efficiency. Under the program Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings (LEMUR) (2013), operating until 2020, € 70 million in form of grants or loans are earmarked for the design and construction of new energy efficient public buildings. Recipients can be either public buildings or collective residential buildings. Under Energy Efficiency in Industry (2011) a budget of roughly € 200 million is allocated for enterprises to carry out energy improvements and audits for assessing potential energy savings. Financial support covers up to 70 percent of the expenditures and takes the form of grant (for audits) or soft loan (for improvements). The Act on Energy Efficiency (2011) introduces the white certificates system for energy efficiency. The system has particular relevance for utilities in the energy sector, which are obliged to get a certain quota of white certificates. Energy Loan for Energy Saving (2010) is a fund implemented under EPP 2030 (see above) that provides a loan for energy saving investments.

NEEAP document available in pdf format: Poland_Energy Efficiency Action Plan (2012)

National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) (2010)

As for the NEEAP case, the document was issued as a fulfillment to the requirements set by EU regulation to compile a NREAP to notify each country-specific state of play to the European Commission. The goal is to delineate the pathway to attain the EU 2020 target of 15 percent share of renewable energy in final energy demand. The plan supports the diffusion of renewable energy by outlining national policies, providing incentives and financial schemes for RE production.

Fiscal and financial incentives to renewable energy are predominantly given under the authority of NFOŚiGW. The second Poland Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (PolSEFF2) (2015), the successor of the first program (PolSEFF) launched in 2011, is provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in cooperation with NFOŚiGW. A € 200 million credit line is available for small- and mid-size businesses to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency through partner banks and leasing companies. Complementarily, NFOŚiGW provides investment grants of up to ca. € 14 million. The program BOCIAN (2014) supports distributed RES through a scheme of soft loans working in the 2014-2020 period with a budget of roughly € 100 million. The volume of the support ranges between € 0.5 and 10 million, with an interest rate of not less than 2 percent. The loan can cover up to 75 percent of the total investment, depending on the type of RE production, which can be wind, solar PV, geothermal, small hydro, biomass, or biogas. PROSUMER (2014) is a program supporting the deployment of RES micro installations and has a budget of around € 150 million. Projects funded can be either for electricity (up to 40 kWe), or both heat and electricity (up to 300 kWt).

NREAP document available in pdf format: Poland_National Renewable Energy Action  Plan (2010)



Regulation on National Indicative Targets for 2013-2018 (2013)

The regulation supersedes the previous biofuel targets and sets annual indicative targets for the 2013-2018 time period, with a final biofuel share of 8.5 percent in 2018. The provision operates under the Act on Biocomponents and Liquid Biofuels from 2006.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_Biofuels Targets 2013 to 2018 (2013) (in Polish)

Low Emission Urban Transport (GAZELA) (2013)

The program, funded by NFOŚiGW, aims to reduce GHG emissions from the energy and fuel improvements in urban transport consumption. A € 19 million fund is disbursed in form of grant for the implementation of municipal transport improvement projects.

Act on Public Transport (2011)

The Act requires cities with more than 50 000 inhabitants to develop a plan on sustainable public transport development, providing an integrated public system, restricting private vehicles use and enhancing use of bicycles.

Long-term Programme for Promotion of Biofuels for 2008-2014 (2007)

The project provides support to the diffusion of biofuels and other renewable fuels. The whole lifecycle process is taken into consideration, from the cultivation stage, through the production and manufacture, to the use of fuels.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_Long-term Programme for Promotion of Biofuels (2007) (in Polish)


National Environmental Policy (NEP) (2008)

NEPs constitute the most comprehensive strategic planning framework concerning the environment. Under the framework of the Environmental Protection Law of 2001 it is required to set an NEP every four years, reviewing the progress of implementation of the previous ones and drawing an outlook in the long term. The most recent one, the NEP for 2009-2012 and its 2016 Outlook (2008), covers the macroareas of natural resources protection and improvement of the state of the environment and environmental security.

Document available in pdf format: Poland_National Environmental Policy for 2009-2012 and its 2016 Outlook (2008)



National Waste Management Plan 2014 (2010)

Polish recycling rates are well beyond the EU average, whereas a large fraction of the waste is landfilled. Waste management plans, driven by EU legislation, describe the provisions for monitoring and reviewing the progress of waste management and recycling practices. The last plan, dated 2010, presents a focus on waste prevention and minimization, and has the objective of maintaining the trend of decoupling waste generation from economic growth. Under this framework, a National Waste Prevention Programme was issued in 2014.

National Waste Management Plan available in pdf format: Poland_National Waste Management Plan (2014)

National Waste Prevention Programme available in pdf format: Poland_National Waste Prevention Programme (2014) (in Polish)



Poland’s profile at the IEA website

The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study 4th Edition (2014)

Poland’s country profile from the EEA (2014)

Poland Highlights from OECD Environmental Performance Reviews (2015)


International Policy

General features

  • Party to the UNFCCC:

Date of signature: 5 June 1992
Date of ratification: 28 July 1994
Date of entry into force: 26 October 1994

  • Party to the Kyoto Protocol (target: 6 percent reduction from 1988)

Date of signature: 15 July 1998
Date of ratification: 13 December 2002
Date of entry into force: 16 February 2005

  • Signatory of the Copenhagen Accord
  • Part of the EU ETS


Strategically located between Western Europe on the one side and Russia and the Caucasus on the other side, Poland is eager to preserve its role as a transit state for energy. This is the reason why Poland advocates against projects for alternative transit routes in Eastern and Northern Europe. The relationship with Russia is ambivalent, as Poland strongly relies on its trading partner, but aims to secure energy supply independently. Therefore, Russia can be perceived either as a threat to or a guarantor of energy security. The sharpening of tensions between Russia and the EU for the Ukrainian war is amplifying this juxtaposition.



Negotiating position

As a part of the former Soviet bloc, the Poland has experienced a strong economic growth in the past decades. However, in the country there is concern that environment protection and climate pledges could undermine further economic progress. This is the reason why Poland, due to its weight in the European arena, is a major figure in the EU leading a minority bloc that is opposing strong climate change commitments. For instance, the country has advocated for a deferral in the implementation of a Market Stability Reserve within the EU ETS and more in general has contrasted any attempt to address the issue of unused CO2 emission permits (AAUs) that weaken the effectiveness of the EU carbon market. This stance was strengthened by the fact that Poland decided to host COP 19 in 2013, ensuring a solid negotiating position.