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Poland: Webinar and briefing on healthy energy solutions

A recent webinar organised by HEAL in Poland gathered health professionals and well-known experts to further discuss solutions for air quality and health in Poland, with a special focus on a new HEAL briefing on healthy energy, launched during the webinar.

Air quality in Poland is one of the worst in the whole EU, with around 40,000 premature deaths as a result of breathing polluted air. More than 30 of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe lie in Poland, and the external health cost of harmful air in Poland is estimated at nearly 102 billion USD per year. Energy production and consumption, which is still based on high-emissive coal burning and the heating of hundreds of thousands of homes by low quality coal, make an important contribution to poor air quality and its health impacts.

Is there an alternative? Could the transformation towards a more health-friendly sources of energy improve public health in Poland? Which energy solutions would bring health benefits, and which pose the greatest threat to people and the environment?

These questions were answered during the webinar entitled ‘Are we forced to breath polluted air? Risks and health benefits of energy sources’. Experts dealing with environmental health, public health, energy transformation and environment analysed the causes and consequences of air pollution in Poland and the possible solutions to significantly improve its quality and public health in Poland.

Panelists in the webinar included: • Dr Michał Krzyżanowski, Kings’ College of London, speaking about the health impacts of air pollution: Health and the quality of the air we breathe; • Radosław Gawlik, Dolnośląski Alarm Smogowy (Lower Silesia smog alert), describing local initiatives to improve air quality in Poland; • Dariusz Szwed, Zielony Instytut (Green Institute), giving examples of energy transformation and good practices to develop energy sources that are not harmful for the environment and human health, and; • Weronika Piestrzyńska, HEAL Poland introducing a new briefing by HEAL, comparing and summarising the risks and benefits from different energy sources and giving concrete energy-related recommendation to improve public health in Poland.

During the webinar a new briefing by HEAL Poland entitled ‘Healthy energy sources. Whether and how sources of energy affect public health?’ was successfully launched.

After the webinar there was a short discussion between the participants and open questions to the speakers about local smog alert initiatives, governmental plans to change the bill on renewable sources of energy and HEAL briefing.

Other resources:
Linkto the article on webinar (PL)

Link to the press release (PL)

Last updated on 6 July 2016

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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