LIFE project


LIFE IP “Implementation of Air Quality Plan for Małopolska Region – Małopolska in a healthy atmosphere”

Air quality strategy in Małopolska Region

Southern Poland is one of the most polluted regions in the EU. The Małopolska Region struggles with very poor air quality, particularly during the winter season. Concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and benzo(a)pyrene are exceedingly high throughout the whole region. The major source of air pollution in Małopolska is low-stack emission (combustion of solid fuels in obsolete household boilers). This source is responsible for 55% of PM 10 and over 70% of carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene concentrations.
The Małopolska Air Quality Plan (MAQP) determines tasks for local governments to eliminate obsolete solid fuel boilers and modernize household heating systems for those based on environmentally friendly energy sources (like natural gas, light fuel oil, renewable energy, electric heating, district heating) or modern solid fuel boilers meeting high quality standards in terms of pollutant emissions. However, the level of implementation of these corrective actions is insufficient e.g. in 2013 – 2015 the achieved reduction of particulate matter and benzo(a)pyrene emissions reached only 8% of the target for 2023. There is also significant untapped potential for emission reduction by improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

The scope of the project includes:

  • Establishing a network of 60 Eco-managers in order to support the implementation of air quality actions at the municipal level,
  • Strengthening advisory and administrative services for Krakow residents with respect to elimination of stoves and solid fuel boilers,
  • Operating a regional-level Excellence Centre, to provide training and knowledge base for local authorities and Eco-managers,
  • Conducting information and education campaigns at the regional and local levels,
  • Developing an instrument for high resolution modeling of pollution dispersion for Krakow and analysis of variants of possible actions aimed at emission reduction,
  • Preparing an international air-pollutants modeling system for Małopolska, Silesia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Main objectives:

  • The full implementation of the Małopolska Air Quality Plan, which will result in emission reduction to permissible levels
  • The effective use of available EU and national funds aimed at improving air quality.

The main assumptions of LIFE IP

The project is a response to the needs of local governments and the barriers identified during the implementation of the current MAQP. The aim of the project is to facilitate effective use of available financial resources and legal instruments to achieve a real air quality improvement in the Małopolska Region. Cooperation with local governments, national and international organizations will increase the impact area of the project to other regions in Poland, as well as Central and Eastern Europe.

Expected results

  • Accelerating the implementation of the air quality measures set out in the Malopolska Air Quality Plan (MAQP),
  • Providing communities with competences, tools and expertise in the field of air quality protection,
  • Increasing awareness of air quality improvement needs among the region’s residents,
  • Analysing and optimizing measures aimed at reduction of transport emissions in Krakow,
  • Creating a network for cooperation, experience sharing at the local, regional, and international levels.

Tasks of Eco-managers

  • Providing air-protection advisory and administrative services for residents,
  • Supporting municipalities in obtaining funds from EU and national sources to implement air protection measures,
  • Encouraging citizens to replace old boilers with environmentally friendly energy sources,
  • Conducting environmental education in schools, promoting environmentally-friendly behaviour among children,
  • Controlling compliance with air protection regulations,
  • Encouraging citizens to thermal modernization of their houses and providing professional advisory by means of thermographic measurements of buildings.

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Malopolska in a healthy atmosphere