City authorities in southern Poland have won a legal victory over the introduction of new rules to combat local air pollution. The regulation, passed by the regional council of Małopolska, which includes Kraków, is set to come into force in September 2019 and will ban the use of solid fuel such as coal for heating in households, offices, government buildings and restaurants.
Client Earth lawyer Małgorzata Smolak, who represented the city authorities, described the decision as a “breakthrough victory” for the people of Kraków and Poland more widely. Although it is likely to be appealed, “the court has shown that local authorities have in their hands an effective tool to combat air pollution,” she said.
Poland’s air quality is among the worst in Europe, and in December 2015, the European Commission referred Poland to the EU Court of Justice over its persistently high levels of particulate matter (PM).
Source: Ends Europe Daily, 29 September 2016.