Between 1990 and 2019 emissions from the buildings sector in Poland decreased by 12%, a slightly slower rate of decrease than for overall emissions, which fell by 16% in the same period. That was significantly lower than the EU’s rate of decrease where emissions fell by 29% in the buildings sector. The share of emissions from this sector in overall emissions increased slightly from 8.5% in 1990 to 14% 2019.
Poland’s buildings sector relies heavily on coal for heating. Over 75% of coal burned directly in EU households in 2018 was burned in Poland – an increase of 4% in comparison to a decade earlier. This has significant negative impacts, not only for CO₂ emissions, but also for high levels of air pollution.
As a result, moving away from coal in the household sector, mainly through electrification and heat pumps, would not only reduce GHGs emissions, but would also have significant co-benefits in the form of improved air quality. According to 1.5°C compatible scenarios, by 2030 the share of electricity as the source of energy in the household is set to double and reach 48% and almost triple to 67% by 2050.
Poland’s housing sector has significant energy efficiency potential. Implementation of energy efficiency measures is essential in getting the sector on a 1.5°C emissions pathway. Energy efficiency can be improved by strict standards for new builds and deep renovation of existing building stock. In addition, some scenarios assume hydrogen to play a role especially post 2030. Through electrification, energy efficiency measures and the use of green hydrogen, the Polish buildings sector can be almost completely decarbonised between 2047 and 2050.