In recent days, a coalition agreement was published – a document confirming the agreement between the groups wishing to form a future government together. The Civic Coalition, the Polish People’s Party, Poland 2050 and the New Left presented program arrangements, a plan to settle the rule of the United Right and the principles of the coalition on 13 pages. Environmental issues are devoted to one of the 25 points they want to follow. It mentions water.
What water provisions appear in the united opposition’s coalition agreement?
Environmental issues, and more specifically “improving the level of protection of Poland’s forests, rivers and air,” are covered in Section 9. parts of the first coalition agreement of the united opposition. The formula resembles pre-election programs and is largely a list of briefly presented demands. The three-paragraph text on the environment devotes one sentence to the topic of water: “We will implement permanent monitoring of the cleanliness of the rivers and work toward their restoration.”
The inclusion of the water demand in the coalition agreement may be gratifying. But is it actually reason enough to rejoice? Especially since the demands listed, aside from the phrase “we will do,” lack the rest, namely, how we will do it.
There is a light in the following sentences – the coalition agreement includes a provision emphasizing the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), which gives hope for joint action between the future government and pro-environmental organizations on behalf of nature.
What did the contenders to form the new government say about water management and environmental protection before the election?
The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly felt around the world. Recurring droughts, more frequent flooding and rising temperatures are the main elements we are currently facing. They pose a huge challenge, so governments must have ideas on how to reduce water stress and deal with other negative effects of climate change. The quality of life of residents, the state of the environment and economic development depend on it.
Before the elections, we carefully analyzed the demands of the main election committees on environmental and water management issues. The results of this analysis showed that water issues were included in their election programs by 4 of the 6 committees, 2 of which represented members of the opposition coalition, namely. KO and the New Left.
It included demands such as a “sensible water protection policy,” renaturalization of rivers to increase natural retention, protection of wetlands and floodplains, monitoring, creation of a warning system for dangers, support for modernization of wastewater treatment plants (New Left) and restoration of wetland habitats, covering rivers with permanent monitoring, modernization of wastewater treatment systems, combating illegal discharges of pollutants into water, or support for small retention in agricultural areas (KO).
Coalition agreement and the future of water
Although the coalition agreement includes a declaration that all decisions will be made by consensus, given that the coalition parties’ election programs contained little detail and some did not address water issues at all, it is difficult today to determine how water and environmental goals will be implemented.
One sentence about rivers, while raising an important issue, is still not much. Thus, it appears that the coalition agreement does not directly address the needs that arise from the escalating water crisis, nor does it address water management as one avenue for promoting economic development.
It is unclear what about the rest of the issues raised by the various committees in their election programs. Will agreement be reached on issues not covered by the coalition agreement? The questions are many. At this stage, we react to the mention of water in the coalition agreement with cautious optimism, treating it as a good omen for the future. In the coming months we will see what plans and ideas the new coalition government will have for water management.