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Last update:Nov 29, 2019

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy
  • Adopted
National adaptation plan
  • Being developed
  1. Article on KLIMADA website - Action plan for cities
     
  2. Information about legislation process - Coastal protection programme
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Being developed
Research programs
  • Currently being undertaken

Meteorological observations

  • Being developed

Climate projections and services

CCIVA portals and platforms
  • Established
  • Being developed
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies
  • Being developed
Monitoring Mechanism Regulation
  • Last reporting on adaptation (Art. 15) submitted
National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Last National Communication Submitted

The Polish National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change for sectors and areas sensitive to climate change by 2020 with a vision to 2030 (NAS) was adopted in 2013 (NAS 2020 website). The project "Development and implementation of a strategic adaptation plan for the sectors and areas vulnerable to climate change" with the acronym KLIMADA, has been the basis for the preparation of a strategic plan for adapting the country to climate change.

The responsible authority on matters of climate change adaptation is the Ministry of Environment (Department for Sustainable Development and International Cooperation). Supportive services are provided by the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW-PIB), the Institute of Environmental Protection (IOŚ-PIB), and the Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas (IETU). Climate change data are gathered by IMGW-PIB. The datasets are available upon request, but not all are currently accessible on a website. KLIMADA holds general information, data on climate change trends and climate change scenarios.

Adaptation Strategies

In the field of adaptation, the relevant document is the "National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change by 2020 with the perspective by 2030" (NAS) - part of the broader research project "KLIMADA" which covers the period until 2070 and is the basis for the conclusions presented in the NAS. The NAS is used as framework guidance to help support monitoring indicators and assessment of the implementing actions at the national, regional and local levels, including the transport sector.

This document includes a description of the general characteristics of the climate, climate change from 2007-2011, scenarios and impact on sensitive sectors until 2030. Furthermore, the document includes an analysis of climate change trends and impacts on biodiversity, water management, forestry, power engineering, coastal zones, mountain areas, agriculture, transport, spatial economy and urbanised areas, construction and health.

Implementation means

Klimada
Klimada is a platform developed during the project - "Klimada" (Development and implementation of a strategic adaptation plan for the sectors and areas vulnerable to climate change). The results of this project were the basis for the preparation of the NAS. Klimada holds general information, data on climate change trends and climate change scenarios. It also presents a diagnosis of the vulnerability of 12 sectors (including Health, Tourism, Mining, Construction, Transport etc. The portal holds information regarding climate aspects affecting each sector in Poland, and how they can be addressed in project preparation. Klimada is also collecting data about case studies in some regions in Poland.

Development strategy in the area of the environment and water management
Adopted by the Government on 16 July 2019 – Development Strategy in the Area of the Environment and Water Management is also very essential in the field of adaptation to climate change. The Strategy indicates adaptation to climate change as one of the priorities of the environmental policy. It takes into account the hazards associated with climate change in Poland, makes a diagnosis and describes the necessary actions in the field of adaptation to climate change, including results of the project implemented in 2017-2019 by the Ministry of the Environment "Developing adaptation plans for climate change in cities over 100,000 inhabitants " (also referred to as " MPA "). The Strategy indicates the need to prepare adaptation plans for climate change in smaller cities.

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.

Crisis management act (disaster risk management), crisis management and monitoring 
Another applicable document which is concentrated mostly on crises (also related to climate change) is the ACT of 26 April 2007 on Crisis Management. The document has been developed by the Government Security Centre. It includes the characteristics of hazards and risk assessment of their occurrence, the critical infrastructure (including risk maps and hazard maps), the duties and responsibilities of participants in crisis management in the form of safety net, a statement of the forces and resources planned for use in crises. Crisis management involves activity by public administration authorities as an element of national security management system, which consists of preventing crises, 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.

At the regional and local level, the communes and municipal centres 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 State Monitoring, State Fire Service.

EIA Directive and Polish EIA Act 
According to the revised law on Environmental Impact Assessments, it is necessary to take into account climate risk analysis. This applies mainly to projects of type I (in the EIA Report), but it is not obligatory for type II projects. Other projects are not covered by this legal requirement.

National water management holding Polish Waters
1 January 2018, the National Water Management Holding Polish Waters was created in order to take the sole responsibility for the management of water in Poland. Polish Waters have taken over all responsibilities, rights, dues and obligations of the National Water Management Authority and the regional water management authorities. The new entity was created in accordance with the bill of 20 July 2017 - The Water Law in order to ensure more efficient management of water resources in Poland. The Act amending the Water Law allowed Polish Waters to take over the ownership rights of the State Treasury over inland waterways with special transport significance. The new regulations are also to ensure stable sources of financing for Polish Waters.

Priorities in the field of adaptation
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.
Until now, there has been 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 a regional or local level as soon as regional or local strategies are adopted.

Adaptation plans for 44 Cities project (MPA)
An excellent example of governmental engagement in local adaptation plans is the development of the non-competitive Project “Development of Urban Adaptation Plans for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Poland” (MPA).

At the national level, the MPA project was coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and aimed to provide support for 44 cities. The overarching goal was to identify and analyse adaption challenges each city may face, draft plans for local authorities, indicate sources of funding and raise awareness for the need for adaptation. The MPA Project was cofounded (85%) by the EU Funds (Cohesion Fund within the framework of Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment) and the Polish State Budget (15%).

All Urban adaptation plans were developed in 2017-2019 in accordance with one methodology by one contractor. 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.

The following Project Goals were fulfilled:

  • 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 supported local governments from both – organisational and financial side. The project was implemented in 2016-2019. The Project was completed in June 2019. Currently the cities are in the process of adopting adaptation plans in the form of legally binding resolutions of municipal councils. By the end of this year most cities should adopt plans in this form.

The MPA Project is the first step aimed at strengthening resilience 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 fulfils 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 to decreasing cities vulnerability on climate change impacts.

Preparation of urban adaptation plans was based on an innovative approach aimed at determining the most effective measures to adapt and protect against the effects of already existing and forecasted threats – extreme temperatures, heat waves, heavy rainfall, storms and storms, urban floods, from the rivers and sea.

Together with city authorities, strategic solutions have been developed to increase the cities’ adaptation potential to the effects of climate change and to increase the level of inhabitants’ awareness in this respect. Social and economic benefits, an increase in the level of safety and the improvement of the quality of life in the city are the objectives which, thanks to the implementation of the adaptation plans, will be achieved by 2030.

Experts and representatives of local authorities stressed that adaptation serves to improve the quality of life in the city, of which the state of the environment is an increasingly important element. Adaptation measures undertaken in cities require, on the one hand, strong organisational and legal support at the national level, and on the other hand, conscious society and entities responsible for their implementation at the local level. Urban adaptation plans have dynamic and open character, so it will be easy to update or reshape some assumptions.

In addition to developing urban adaptation plans, project goal was to share knowledge on climate changes and their effects. In parallel to working on the adaptation plans, a vast body of educational materials was prepared for both adults and children (films, brochures, training sessions, newsletters, quizzes, competitions) and also conferences and a debate were organised. All activities in this project were carried out together – by experts, representatives of the local communities, officials, managers of urban utilities and properties, activists, scientists and business people. Because of such broad participation, the project has a unique value. The awareness that adaptation to climate changes is essential to the protection of our health, and often life, is the foundation of all actions. It also means limiting the costs of mitigating the effects of damage to properties and infrastructure.

It is worth pointing out that municipal projects in the field of sustainable and adapted to climate change management of rainwater have so far been granted over PLN 1 billion from the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020 as part of projects called "Rainwater management systems in urban areas".

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 includes methodology and checklist for the process of the development of the climate change adaptation plan at local level. It can be used by any local governments to coordinate the development process of climate change adaptation plans. These guidelines may also be used by any interested local government.

Climate risk assessment including EIA/SEA guide
Guide to Investment Preparation Respecting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation as well as Resilience to Natural Disasters (Ministry Of Environment, 2015) covers methodologies for integrating climate change adaptation and mitigations into the development of infrastructure projects. This methodologies mostly rely on the rules of risk assessment.

In Poland, projects which are co-financed from EU funds are obliged to use the methodologies indicated in the Guide. The Guide developed by the Department of Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Environment indicate the methods that should help investors (including beneficiaries of EU funds in the period 2014-2020) in preparation of investment projects and / or in the application of EU funds in the field of issues related to climate change adaptation and mitigation and resilience to natural disasters.

The Guide aims to provide methodologies and hints concerning how climate issues should be included in the process of developing of investments and projects at the stage of:

  • SEA and EIA concerning:
    • Climate mitigation;
    • 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 concerning 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

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 have been conducted.

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.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

no information 

Schedule and planned review/revision

no information

Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

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.

Mainstreaming of adaptation

no information provided

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).

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

It should also be noted that the climate vulnerability assessment was carried out as part of the MPA project as well as the project “CLIMCITIES - Climate change adaptation in small and medium-sized cities". The Project CLIMCITIES was focused on adaptation of small and medium-sized Polish cities to climate change. The project has been mainly implemented in Polish cities with a population of between 50 and 99 thousand inhabitants. The main aim of the project CLIMCITIESis to develop adaptability of small and medium-sized Polish cities to climate change by providing local actors with access to knowledge on climate change adaptation as well as achieving the adaptation goals of the EU’s and national adaptation strategies.

Within the framework of the project, a series of training has been provided for both representatives of self-government administration and local leaders involved in environmental activities. They have learnt how to develop an urban adaptation plan and how to involve city residents in adaptation planning. The training has been conducted in the form of seminars and workshops. Supplementary teaching materials are available via the Internet.

As part of the project CLIMCITIES, a group of experts from the Institute of Environmental Protection - National Research Centre (IEP-NRC), Norwegian Partner Vista Analyse and other cooperating institutions, have developed urban adaptation plans for five cities, selected in the project framework.

Moreover, the Institute of Environmental Protection – National Research Institute (IOŚ-PIB) is implementing the Project co-funded by the European Union, entitled: “The knowledge base on climate change and adapting to climate change impacts, together with knowledge dissemination channels, to strengthen economic, environmental and societal resilience as well as to support management of extraordinary risks associated with climate change” (KLIMADA 2.0).

The project comprises numerous tasks, the main objective of which is to raise knowledge on climate change and its impacts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of adaptation measures undertaken in the sectors vulnerable to climate change.

Under the framework of the Project implementation, IOŚ-PIB is developing innovative tools and is preparing useful information, recommendations and guidelines.

Several institutions and authorities are the users of the Project results, including:

  • representatives of government and local administration,
  • authorities involved in the decision making process on adaptation measures and ways of their implementation to mitigate climate change impacts,
  • representatives of professional and scientific communities involved in climate change-related activities.

The Project has a total value of about 20 million PLN (17 million PLN granted by the EU) and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

An essential part of the Project are also climate projections at a regional and if necessary (e.g. in densely populated urban areas) at a local scale.

Research

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.

Monitoring progress

no information provided

Governance

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, among other things on how to address climate change in the Baltic Sea Region in a coherent and effective manner.

Polish twin ENEA working group on adaptation and working group on EIA: forums coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, play 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.

Above are examples of excellent and close cooperation between the central government and local governments in the development of the MPA project. This cooperation will be continued in the implementation of this project, i.e. in the implementation of individual adaptation plans by partner 44 cities.

The Ministry of the Environment also cooperates with the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in the field of adaptation to climate change. National Fund implements as Implementing Authority EU funds in the field of adaptation to climate change as well as has its offer of financial instruments (mainly loans) for activities related to adaptation to climate change directed primarily at local government units.

Knowledge

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 organised workshops to improve policy-makers adaptation knowledge and to find out what kind of information is practically used and needed.

Therefore, a need for capacity-building was identified and led to the project "Good climate for the counties" which was completed at the end of August 2015. The main goal was to activate local government authorities, local institutions, non-governmental organisations, local leaders and countries communities in the field of climate protection and adaptation. 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 organised, 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 organisations.

In the analysed context, it is also necessary to indicate the projects described above that contribute to the achievement of goals or have achieved goals related to Adaptation capacity building, dissemination, education, training. These are the MPA project, the CLIMCITIES project, the Knowledgebase on climate change and adapting to climate change project (KLIMADA 2.0), Polish twin ENEA working groups as well as training and workshops carried out by the Polish Ministry of Environment for environmental authorities and authorities implementing European Union funds in Poland as well as for beneficiaries, especially of large projects (including municipalities, Polish State Railways, General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways etc.).

International dimensions

see above

Ministry of the Climate

Patrycja Ciechańska

Department of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation

Wawelska Str. 52/54, 00-922 Warsaw, Poland

Tel. +48 22 36 92 551
Mail patrycja.ciechanska@mos.gov.pl 

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 525/2013) and updates by the EEA member countries