World Environment Day and the amendment of the Environmental Protection Law

Światowy Dzień Ochrony Środowiska

As every year, June 5 marks World Environment Day. This year’s celebration is being held under the theme Our Land. Our Future. We are Re:Generation (#GenerationRestoration).. This worldwide initiative, aimed at seeking solutions to eliminate factors contributing to the degradation of the planet, provides an excellent opportunity to analyze the most important planned amendments to the Environmental Law.

World Environment Day 2024 focuses on restoration of terrestrial ecosystems

World Environment Day was established at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. By the United Nations General Assembly. This year we are celebrating his 52nd. anniversary, and is hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The attendees gathered at the International Conference Center named after him. King Abdulaziz in Riyadh will focus this time on finding solutions related to land restoration. It is these measures that can prevent soil degradation, the occurrence of increasingly long periods of drought, land desertification and climate change. In addition to official celebrations, World Environment Day campaigns are also being conducted in more than 100 countries around the world. These initiatives include talks, lectures, discussions and other events, with a total reported number of nearly 3,000.

Wodne Sprawy 11 2024 90
pic. World Environment Day

In the face of these global efforts to protect terrestrial ecosystems, an amendment to the Environmental Protection Law that is being prepared in Poland, which, according to information published on the website of the Government Legislation Center (RCL) on May 27, gains particular importance. has been forwarded for opinion.

What is the purpose of amending the Environmental Law?

Planned amendments to the Environmental Protection Law and other laws are aimed at regulating solutions to support cities in implementing climate change adaptation policies. They will include, among others. Implementing solutions to strengthen the ecological transformation of cities, improving air quality and facilitating the raising of funds for related activities.

The amended regulations will have the greatest impact on cities with a population of 20,000 or more, marshal offices, municipalities and farms, but also entrepreneurs planning investments. They will also, in some respects, translate into improvements in the functioning of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

The most important planned changes in the regulations

The most important changes to Poland’s climate protection laws, according to the regulatory impact assessment (RIA), include twelve key points. Particularly noteworthy, however, are regulations that obligate cities with populations equal to or greater than 20,000. residents to develop municipal climate change adaptation plans (MPAs).

If the new regulations go into effect, MPAs will have to be prepared for the designated cities no later than January 2, 2028. and will be updated every six years. These plans will include, among other things:

  • Analysis of meteorological and hydrological phenomena and their derivatives;
  • Climate change scenarios and analyses of the resulting risks to cities;
  • Concepts for greening cities, including increasing the area of green spaces and trees;
  • Rainwater and snowmelt management concepts.

The introduction of mandatory MPAs will also involve legislation to protect green spaces and wildlife from overdevelopment. Similar solutions have been in place for years in Denmark, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom, enabling these countries to effectively adapt their land-use plans to the advancing climate change.

In addition to mandatory MPAs, significant changes introduced by the amendment to the Environmental Protection Law and some other laws will also be:

  • Clarification of regulations related to the scope and necessary elements of the environmental impact report in the area related to climate analyses;
  • The obligation to take into account in municipal development strategies, municipal general plans and local land use plans, conclusions and recommendations from the MPA;
  • To amend the Law on the Principles of Development Policy to accelerate the green transformation of urban areas and enable greater support from the Regional Development Fund for related activities. The new regulations in this area will also introduce definitions of green urban transformation, which will be defined as a process that leads to increasing climate neutrality while caring for the quality of the natural environment and not limiting the potential for socioeconomic development.
  • Implementation of changes related to the deadlines for the preparation of updated air protection programs by the provincial board from 3 years to 4 years from the date of entry into force of the provincial assembly’s resolution on the air protection program.

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