Last update:16 Jan 2017
|National adaptation strategy||Adopted|
|Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments||Currently being undertaken|
|Research programs||Currently being undertaken|
|Climate services / Met Office||Established/Being developed|
|Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies||Being developed|
|Training and education resources||Being developed|
|National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change||Last NatCom Submitted (2014)|
Poland adopted its national adaptation strategy (NAS 2020 website) on 29 October 2013. This document is focused on the field of adaptation, not mitigation.
Besides, adaptation issues are mentioned in other documents developed in Poland, in integrated strategies, in the Medium-Term Development Strategy to 2020 and in the Long-Term Development Strategy to 2030. Since not all adaptation issues were included in these documents, the Ministry of Environment launched the KLIMADA project, and its result - NAS 2020, covers the issues that were not mentioned in the above-mentioned strategies.
NAS 2020 indicates the objectives and directions of adaptation action in the most vulnerable sectors and areas in the period up to 2020: water management, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity and protected areas, health, energy, building industry, transport, mountain areas, coastal zone, spatial development and developed urban areas. The vulnerability of these sectors was identified on the basis of climate change scenarios developed for NAS 2020.
At regional and local level, the communes and municipal cent res for crisis management are in the frontline of defence against the negative impacts of climate change. They oversee emergency services, respond to floods and coordinate environmental protection actions. Supporting bodies include: Meteorology, Hydrology and Water Management (monitoring), State Fire Service, Regional Hydrology and Water Management, Regional Water Management Boards and other parties. Policy instruments for implementing adaptation are to a very large extent still under development. As stated above, Poland reports that urban areas, agriculture, water and coastal areas are priority areas for implementing adaptation. Regarding water, a portfolio of adaptation measures has been identified and implementation started at all levels of governance.
Crisis management involves activity by public administration authorities as an element of national security management system, which consists of preventing crisis situations, planned activities for their control, emergency response, remediation of their effects and the restoration of affected resources and critical infrastructure. All of these elements are impacted by climate change.
There is no Government proposal to prepare a national adaptation action plan. The Ministry of Environment - on the basis of "soft coordination" - will encourage regional/local authorities to prepare action plans at regional or local level as soon as regional or local strategies are adopted.
Good example of government engagement in local adaptation plans is coordinating the non-competitive Project “Development of Urban Adaptation Plans for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Poland”.
The biggest cities in Poland are partners in MoE project “development of Urban Adaptation Plans for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Poland”. All Urban adaptation plans will be developed in accordance with one methodology by one contractor (or consortium). Urban areas have been identified as a priority in the implementation of the adaptation to climate change policy in Poland. Over 30% of the Polish population lives in project partner cities. So far the agreement between City council and Ministry was signed by 44 cities.
- Determination of vulnerability of the largest cities to climate change
- Planning for adaptation actions at the local level
- Raising awareness of the need for adaptation to climate change at the local level
Polish Ministry of the Environment will support local governments from both – organizational and financial side, project will be implemented in 2016-2018 .
Urban adaptation plans will have dynamic and open character, so it will be easy to update or reshape some assumptions.
This is the first step aimed at strengthening resistance and adaptation to changing climate conditions. Due to its scale, this is an innovative and unique project. The result of the project will enhance cities’ resilience to climate change, and consequently, the entire country.
The project fulfills objectives and activities provided for in a given focus area, pointed out in the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (NAS 2020). It is the multispectral approach on decreasing cities vulnerability on climate change impacts.
In the framework of Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014 – 2020 there is an opportunity to fund the following type of projects: “rainwater management systems in cities over 100 000 inhabitants”. According to the selection criteria of this type of projects elaborated at the MoE - only sustainable and adaptation projects will have the possibility to get funding. Moreover the access to obtain funding for this type of projects will be limited only to partners of the non-competitive project “development of Urban Adaptation Plans for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Poland” that is carried out by the MoE.
Another example of soft coordination regarding local level actors and plans, is the document “Guidelines for the Urban Adaptation Plans preparation” – Guidelines prepared in the polish Ministry of the Environment, which shows methodology and checklist for the process of climate change adaptation plan development at local level. It can be used by any local governments to coordinate climate change adaptation plans development process. This Document can be used by the governments in cities that are nor a part of the non-competitive project.
When it comes to Environmental Impact Assessment/SEA process and the process of preparation of investments project, including feasibility studies and design, the guide for investors was developed in Ministry of the Environment with cooperation of Ministry of Infrastructure on November 2015. Full name of the document is: ‘Guide to investment preparation respecting climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as resilience to natural disasters’. It describes how to take climate change into consideration during the process of environment impact assessment.
The aim of the Guide is to provide methodologies and hints concerning the way in which climate issues should be included in /integrated into the process of developing of investments and projects at the stage of:
- SEA and EIA in relation to: 1. Climate mitigation; 2. Climate adaptation and resilience including ecosystem based approaches
- Cost - Benefit Analysis, including calculation of shadow costs and external costs of GHG emissions, carbon footprint analysis, sensitivity and vulnerability analysis of projects in relation to climate changes and natural disasters
- risk analysis including climate-related risks
- climate options analysis and assessment, including climate impact on projects and projects impacts on climate
- EU funds beneficiaries under 2014-2020 financial perspective
- managing, intermediary and implementing authorities (responsible for appraisal of the applications/projects submitted under EU funding)
- state/local budget beneficiaries
- relevant government authorities issuing or consulting decisions and consents
Since 2015, under the actions of ENEA network and Ministry of the Environment, a series of training courses in the field of considering climate change in investment projects.
EIA Directive 2014/52/EU has been transposed into Polish legislation, and it will take effect from the beginning of 2017.
Some adaptation activities are carried out at sectoral level, in particular for agriculture, water resources, coastal zones and forestry (actions that are included in existing strategies). The implementation of the National Adaptation Strategy includes mainstreaming adaptation into sectoral policies, primarily those related to agriculture and forestry, biodiversity, ecosystems and water resources, coastal zones, infrastructure, and, subsequently, the preparation of a programme for implementation.
The following sectors have been covered in the risk assessments: agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, human health, water, coastal areas, mountain areas, transport, energy, built environment, spatial planning/urban planning. The ministries responsible for a given sector coordinated the risk assessment for their sector. However, this work is not considered by the Polish authorities as a proper vulnerability assessment, which is planned but has not started yet.
The adaptation strategy's key element was identifying the necessary measures to implement it effectively. Preparing a list of measures was a multi-stage process. It was based on expert assessments of the vulnerability of specific fields of social and economic life to climate change and by determining the necessary projects to mitigate climate change's adverse impact. Grey, green and soft adaptation options are considered.
The preliminary list was assessed and complemented by the ministries concerned. Subsequently, it was compared with the directions of intervention under government strategies and submitted to experts for their reassessment. The proposed detailed measures were aggregated to produce a list of the directions of measures fitting the implementation priorities planned in government strategies. The proposed measures cover the following sectors: water management, agriculture, spatial management, health care, urban areas, construction, transport, the energy sector, biodiversity conservation, forestry and the protection of monuments.
All identified adaptation measures are prioritized in five groups: legal, technological and organizational, education and increasing awareness, research and monitoring. Poland explained that given the high costs of adaptation measures, it was necessary to define priorities. The highest priority has been given to options for flood protection, coastal zone protection and agriculture. Yet, it is unclear whether this prioritization process was based on an explicit and established evaluation framework.
No evidence could be found of an institutional mechanism in place to coordinate disaster risk management and climate change adaptation policy-making, though there are several instances of climate change being built into DRR as described below.
a. Observations and projections
The analysis of recent trends of climate change in Poland in the reference period 1971-2000 shows that the two last decades of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century are the warmest period in the whole 230 years period of climate instrumental observations (pdf, page 28).
b. Impacts & vulnerability assessment
The KLIMAT project "Impact of the climate change on environment, economy and society" (changes, impacts, ways of limitation, proposals for science, engineering in practice and economy planning) was carried out by the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management in the years 2009-2012. The analysis was made on the basis of the SRES A1B scenario, seven regional models and boundary conditions from four global models for the period from 2070-2100 with intermediate thresholds at 2030 and 2050. The reference period (1971-2000) for temperature and precipitation was taken from daily observational data of EOBS. Preliminary results show that by the end of the 21st century, a significant increase of temperature should be expected. In winter, the main tendency is an increase of the minimum temperature, whereas in summer a more pronounced increase is observed in the maximum temperature. The summer season is projected to be longer with frequent heat waves and drought periods.
As stated above, the Polish National Adaptation Strategy 2020 was a product of the "KLIMADA" project. The results of this project formed the basis for the preparation of a strategic plan for adapting the country to climate change and were divided into two time scales – from now until 2030 and the period 2070-2100. The scope of work includes:
- Assessment of expected climate changes in Poland
- Assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability of society and the economy to these changes
- Defining adaptation needs resulting from changing climatic conditions in various economic and social life sectors and estimating the related costs
- Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change into socio-economic national policy
- Increasing awareness of the various levels of decision makers on risks related to climate impacts
Scientists/researchers were actively involved in adaptation policy making and it is also planned to involve them in the implementation phase. Institute of Meteorology and Water Management is carrying out scientific-research works in the area of climate change impact and is preparing and distributing forecasts and warnings for general public and national economy protection as well as for state defense.
Stakeholders' involvement in the development of adaptation policy seems to have been limited in Poland. Governmental stakeholders from sub-national level and interest groups were consulted, while the general public was kept informed of the development process. Poland assesses the role of stakeholders as neutral in the adaptation policy-making process.
Transnational cooperation is recommended to some regional authorities to include into regional development strategies mainly in border regions (Western and North-eastern regions of Poland), also some coordination with the Czech Republic and Germany for flood protection on the Odra River.
Poland is also involved in the Council of the Baltic Sea States Round Table on climate adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region, which debates, inter alia on how to address climate change in the Baltic Sea Region in a coherent and effective manner.
ENEA working group on adaptation: forum coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, plays role as a communication channel between regional stakeholders and central government regarding climate change. Also important role in the supporting of monitoring in the area of adaptation and knowledge /good practices sharing.
b. Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training
The adaptation web portal Klimada includes information on climate change at global, EU, Polish and sub-national level, as well as some information per sector.
No evidence could be gathered on the use of science-policy interfaces to facilitate dialogue between researchers and decision and policy-makers. There will be organized workshops to improve policy-makers adaptation knowledge and to find out what kind of information are practically used and needed.
Therefore, a need for capacity-building was identified and led to the project "Good climate for the counties" in 2010. It seeks to inform everyone – in particular local officials – about climate change and to provide practical tools and mechanisms to support adaptation and mitigation activities. Other relevant projects for knowledge transfer include the Mazovian Climate Agenda, which acts as a forum for cooperation, and exchange of knowledge and good practices of different entities in an urban context, using the example of the Warsaw Agglomeration. The Partnership for Climate Platform carries out comprehensive, innovative educational and promotional activities related to climate change issues. Within the framework of the Platform, different types of events are organized, including conferences, debates and exhibitions intended to raise public awareness on climate change issues. At the local level, initiatives related to adaptation consist primarily of flood protection measures and bringing together various local communities and organizations.
National coordinating institution
Ministry of the Environment
tel. +48 22 369 26 76
Department of Sustainable Development
tel. +48 22 579 22 55
Wawelska Str. 52/54
Other competent organizations
Institute of Meteorology and Water Management - National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB)
tel: +48 22 5694100
61 Podleśna Street