Emissions from the transport sector in Poland have more than tripled since 1990, driven mostly by people driving more. As a result, the sector’s share of Poland’s total greenhouse gas emissions increased from 5% to 16%. To be 1.5°C compatible, emissions from this sector need to reduce by between 45% and 81% by 2030 and by between 78-93% by 2040 in comparison to 2019. The sector could be fully decarbonised at the beginning of the 2050s.
All scenarios assumed lower energy consumption from the sector in 2040 and 2050 and much lower carbon intensity of the energy consumed. Electrification of transport is the main driver of emissions reductions, with some role played by hydrogen. Some scenarios also assume an important role for biofuels; however, the implementation of such scenarios could have negative impacts in Poland for food security and emissions from other sectors, especially LULUCF.
Poland is lagging behind other countries in decarbonising its transport sector. In 2021 less than 6% of cars sold in Poland were electric, much below the average EU level of 24%. With average emissions of new vehicles sold in 2020 at 125 gCO₂/km, Poland was also much worse than the EU average of 108 gCO₂/km. With 662 passenger cars per 1000 citizens, Poland ranks 3rd in terms of the motorisation rate in the EU.
In addition to accelerating the electrification of its transport sector, Poland also needs to increase availability of public transport that would reduce the need for car ownership, especially in rural areas.