Warsaw, the capital of Poland, has become the country’s first city to join EBRD Green Cities , the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s flagship urban sustainability program.
A Memorandum of Understanding, signed today by the mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, and EBRD Regional Director for Central Europe and the Baltics and Head of Poland, Grzegorz Zieliński, states that “both parties will endeavor to cooperate in identifying investment project opportunities in green infrastructure development priority areas.”
Air pollution in Warsaw is a serious concern. Recognizing the impact of poor air quality and the global effects of carbon emissions, the city is developing a greener future by investing in its public transit system and working on a comprehensive strategy to improve its environmental performance.
Warsaw, with a population of almost 1.8 million people, is the largest city in Poland and the country’s political, economic and cultural hub.
Globally, cities account for three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions and represent a prime opportunity to tackle climate change. The $1.7 billion EBRD Green Cities program helps each member city tailor solutions to its environmental needs with a unique combination of measures designed to move towards a lower-carbon and more liveable future. On joining the program, cities undertake a trigger project with EBRD finance and craft their own Green City Action Plan, or GCAP, setting out further actions.
Warsaw’s initial EBRD Green Cities trigger investment is expected to involve the acquisition of up to 45 new metro trains for the expansion of the Warsaw Metro Line II later this year and connecting the north and south of the city by crossing the river Vistula.
Warsaw will receive the combined support of EBRD Green Cities and the climate leadership group C40 to develop a multi-decade investment plan and roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality while addressing its most immediate challenges in the short term.
The city’s GCAP is supported by donor funding from Poland and Taipei China, and the EBRD and C40 will work together to help deliver the final action plan. This will be the first such cooperation within EBRD Green Cities, a fast growing programme that now has 43 participating cities.