LOW-EMISSION ECONOMY - A HIGH STANDARD OF LIVING

2012-11-03

Polish growth and increasing the wealth of Poles also means an increase in energy consumption and emissions in our economy, and thus costs for the health policy. Low-emission transition, however, is not only not in conflict with economic growth, but can also drive this growth - according to another publication prepared under the project "Low-emission Poland 2050": "Between North and South - traps of the status quo and challenges of Polish modernisation by 2050."

In this publication the authors begin by presenting a reference scenario in which the old high-carbon model remains in the energy sector and other sectors of the Polish economy. This allows a more comprehensive assessment of all the costs and benefits of climate policy options, and thus determines the advantages and disadvantages of the current status compared to alternative scenarios - including a deeper or abandoned reduction across Europe and in Poland.

The publication shows the consequences for Poland if, by 2050, it remains on the current trajectory of development. In particular, the expected effects of living in the next 40 years with the current form of energy and climate policy has been presented. At the same time we considered three alternative paths for Polish development differing in scale and direction of institutional and structural reforms (new renaissance, unfinished reform, lost opportunity), but remaining within the current paradigm of high-carbon energy production - and thus further reliance (though much more effective than in the past) on "black" coal technologies, the lack of a breakthrough in the productive use of energy and other resources, as well as maintaining existing patterns of behaviour among consumers and producers.

According to the authors of the publication, the future development of Poland depends on whether it avoids the risk of weakened growth and relative stagnation of the middle income trap. Therefore, the publication offers three alternative scenarios with different institutional dynamics and effectiveness of the country's modernisation. The included projections of economic growth, structural changes of the Polish economy, energy demand and greenhouse gas emission business-as-usual scenarios, help show the scale of the challenges and opportunities related to overall modernisation including the low emission transition.

Low-emission transformation of the economy will take decades, but it must begin today to be effective. Successful change requires a comprehensive look at the current trends and development prospects of Poland - in order to understand the challenges ahead, policy options and their benefits and costs. " - say the authors of publications.