“Silesia. Blue Sky Restored”. Comprehensive implementation of the Air Quality Plan for the Silesian Voivodeship.

Lead partner: the Silesian Voivodeship

Partners: 90

Schedule: 01/2022-12/2027

Project description: ‘Silesia. Bringing back the blue’ is the largest air protection project in Europe, covering the entire Silesian Voivodeship. It involves 89 partners and co-beneficiaries. Its implementation period is from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2027. The project is co-financed by the LIFE Programme of the European Union – Programme for the Environment and Climate Action and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The overall objective of the project is the efficient and effective implementation of the Air Protection Programme for the Silesian Voivodeship (hereinafter POP), which was adopted by Resolution No. VI/21/12/2020 of 22 June 2020 by the Sejmik of the Silesian Voivodeship. The main objective of the project coincides with the overarching objective of the POP, i.e. the development and implementation of corrective measures, the implementation of which will lead to an improvement in air quality, which will consequently reduce the adverse impact of air pollution on the health and life of the inhabitants of the Silesian Province. The measures undertaken within the project will enable a significant acceleration of the rate of replacement of low-power heating devices (below 1MW) fired with solid fuels in the municipal and household sector, which is the main source of the problem situation in the voivodeship. Further project objectives include: development of institutional capacity, a regional advisory support system and a regional information platform for air quality improvement (creation of a local network of competent eco-advisors at local – municipal and sub-regional level); development of know-how, tools, methods and demonstration activities that can enhance the implementation of POP and the European Green Deal both in the Silesian Voivodship, neighbouring cross-border regions and in Poland; increase the level of knowledge in various target groups about low emissions and preventive measures, including their financial effectiveness, both in the Silesia Voivodeship and in cross-border regions; transfer of good practices to other regions in Poland and Europe. The project will also achieve the following specific objectives: increasing the effectiveness of implemented legislative solutions (Anti-smog Resolution) enforcing the replacement of outdated, low-efficiency heating devices; implementation of mechanisms for effective pollution control at the local government level and development of good practices in this area (monitoring of emissions with the use of drones, inspections of furnaces); development of good practices in terms of investment planning at the municipal level; implementation of methods to optimally improve energy efficiency and rational investment in public facilities (model solutions for widespread use); Supporting local authorities in their efforts to improve air quality and adapt to climate change by improving the quality of public spaces and increasing the proportion of green space in urbanised areas.

Other project objectives include:

  • Development and implementation of corrective measures leading to the overall improvement in the quality of air, through significant replacement of small-scale solid-fuel heating devices (below 1 MW) used in the domestic and municipal sectors (the main source of the problem in Silesia);
  • Development of institutional capacity, regional advisory support system and regional information platform for improving the overall air quality (creation of a local network of well-informed ‘Eco-managers’ operating at municipal and sub-regional level);
  • Development of sustainable building models (SBM) reducing the environmental impact of public utility buildings;
    Implementation of Green Infrastructure (GI) in targeted degraded areas;
  • Development of know-how, tools, methods and demonstration actions that can reinforce and facilitate the implementation of the AQP and the European Green Deal both in Silesia, its neighbouring cross-border regions, as well as in other regions of Poland;
  • Raising environmental awareness among different target groups with regard to the methods and technologies used in the reduction of low-stack emissions (including their cost-effectiveness and environmental impact), both in Silesia and neighbouring regions;
  • Transfer of good practices to other regions of Poland and elsewhere in the EU.
    Cooperation among Poland, Slovakia and Czechia partners will include study visits related to the reduction of transport emissions, transfer of good practices, analyses of possibilities to implement Sustainable Building Models (SBM) in other regions of transboundary area, information and education campaigns.

Consistency with strategy and action plan

Strategic objective:

Objective EN1 Create a platform for common strategies and tools to improve air quality.

Action plan:

Supporting the implementation of the corrective measures of the Air Protection Programme for the Silesian Voivodship,

development of know-how, tools, methods and demonstration activities,

support for local authorities,

raising environmental awareness.