Warsaw, 25th November 2019
Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers publishes a report on
On 25th November 2019, the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers published a report on issues related to environmental protection. The material was created as part of the Union’s Energy and Environment Forum inaugurated last week.
In the publication, experts of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers presented diagnoses and recommendations regarding four basic categories of issues related to environmental protection: climate and air, waste management, permits and environmental fees, and water.
“We do not operate in a vacuum. Environmental issues are being given an increasingly higher priority at both the European and national levels, so they naturally also become the subject of our closer interest,” says Cezary Kaźmierczak, President of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. “The report on environmental protection is the first document that was created within the Energy and Environment Forum and presents horizontally our key recommendations in this area.”
In the part dedicated to climate and air quality, a division was made into three areas: industrial and energy, domestic and municipal, as well as transport. A separate set of recommendations was assigned to each area. The Union’s experts pointed to the necessity of, among others, use of available financial instruments that can support the transformation of the Polish energy sector, increase the effectiveness of the “Clean Air” program, while expanding its scope and implementing sound transport regulations, aimed more at supporting the development of low-emission vehicles available to the widest consumer groups or sharing economy than at implementing further restrictions for entrepreneurs and citizens.
“The general idea behind most of the recommendations the report contains is the broadest possible use by the legislator of the “carrot” instead of the “stick” in the broadly understood environmental policy,” emphasises Marcin Nowacki, Vice-President of the Union. “An increasing care and concern for the environment are already a civilisational process, but we must not forget about the economy and the people’s standard of living. Environmental regulations should not impact these areas negatively.”
Waste management is another important subject area covered in the report. This is an important issue since the deadline for transposing the waste directive package will expire soon and, only a year later, Poland will have to implement the directive’s provisions on limiting the impact of certain plastics on the environment.
“Enforcing these provisions is a big challenge for Poland,” claims Jakub Bińkowski, the Union’s director of the Law and Legislation Department. “We must remember that they contain not only hard goals, e.g. in the scope of materials’ recovery, which we need to achieve, but also indicate actions that we should undertake to achieve those goals. Therefore, even the implementation of an appropriate mechanism of extended producer responsibility will be crucial for the effective functioning of the entire system.”
In terms of environmental permits and fees, the Union’s experts primarily highlight the need to simplify and standardise the system, while in the part on water management they stress the need to invest in retention reservoirs and to pursue an active policy making the public and entrepreneurs aware of the principles of reasonable water management.
“We do not want environmental issues to be debated only by representatives of two extremes,” summarises Cezary Kaźmierczak. “We hope to be a balanced voice backed by common sense, attracting attention to areas where some state activity is necessary, and at the same time emphasising that all types of activities should take into account the possibilities and potential of entrepreneurs, as well as the impact of the proposed regulations on the daily lives of the Polish people.”
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