After completing a consultation on the draft originally presented on February 26, 2021, the Polish government submitted its National Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) to the Commission on April 30, 2021, while at the same time requesting another month for additional modifications before the European Commission launches its official assessment. The RRP lays down reforms and investments that will together cost €23.9bn in grants and €12.1bn in loans (Poland could still apply for an additional €21.1bn in loans).
Our analysis shows that overall, the investments envisaged by the plan can make a positive contribution to the green transition. However, while the RRP includes measures that have the potential to fast-track and scale-up decarbonization efforts, the lack of detail and the lack of tangible targets attached to the measures proposed make it impossible to say whether the plan will be able to fully realize that potential and to what extent it will contribute to the EU climate policy targets.
We find that Poland’s recovery plan achieves a green spending share of 28%, below the EU’s 37% climate spending benchmark. Notably, when only considering the measures financed through grants, the plan achieves a green spending share of just 13%. At the same time, 29% of the spending may have a positive or negative impact on the green transition depending on the implementation of the relevant measures, illustrating the importance of further scrutiny during the further planning, review and implementation of the recovery measures. The government itself claims that the plan achieves a climate share of 48.3% (18.2% among the grants; 68.3% among the loans).
*Our analysis covers the Recovery and Resilience Plan that was submitted in April 2021. The report was written by Izabela Zygmunt (WiseEuropa), Zofia Wetmańska (WiseEuropa) and Felix Heilmann (E3G). We are grateful to Joanna Fabiszewska (WiseEuropa) as well as Johanna Lehne (E3G) for supporting the review process.
Poland’s recovery plan includes significant support measures for the offshore wind industry. Following recommendations provided through the public consultation process, the government has tailored the use of financial instruments to increase the economic efficiency and effectiveness of the investment. Port infrastructure for offshore wind (terminals etc.) will be supported through grants (€437m), whilst the development of offshore wind farms (1500 MW) will be supported through loans (€ 3 250m).
The recovery plan does not foresee a revision of national strategic documents to align them with the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets and does not envisage the implementation of key frameworks such as the long-term decarbonization strategy. The legislative changes that are included in the document are not sufficient to fast-track the green transition (e.g. some still enable support for investments in gas) or unlock necessary investments in key sectors (e.g. climate adaptation of urban areas). Investments described in the plan rarely include specific (climate) targets, conditionalities or performance indicators for individual support measures, making it difficult to see how progress will be monitored and how it will contribute to the national and EU climate targets.
The recovery plan offers substantial support for the rail sector, with total investments of €3.4bn in grants and €700m in loans. However, the measures envisaged will support upgrades of existing rail lines and purchase of rolling stock, while no expansion of the rail network is planned.