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Parliamentary questions
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20 May 2020
Answer given by Ms Ferreira
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001320/2020

With the European Green Deal and the EU moving towards reaching climate neutrality by 2050, the reduction of air pollution is a high priority for the European Union. This was also highlighted in the European Semester Country Report 2019, and for cohesion policy funds (European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund and European Social Fund Plus) in Annex D, under Policy Objective 2 for the next programming period 2021-2027, which highlights the need to replace fossil fuel boilers combined with in-depth thermo-retrofitting.

In the framework of the Catching up Regions Initiative, the European Commission and the World Bank provide technical assistance to the Polish authorities on the Clean Air Programme, with the aim to set up an effective mechanism supporting Polish families in coal boiler replacements combined with thermal retrofits.

Possible support from cohesion policy funds to national and/or regional programmes such as Clean Air in the next programming period should only go into a scheme that can effectively reach a maximum number of households in the foreseeable future (10-15 years) in line with EU policy objectives. Similarly, Polish businesses could be supported in their efforts to reduce harmful emissions, provided these investments comply with the minimum required energy efficiency.

Under proposed regulations for cohesion policy funds 2021-2027(1), coal boilers will not be eligible for support. The negotiations of the legislative proposals are still ongoing and it has not been decided yet by the co-legislators whether residential heating infrastructure based on gas will be eligible.

(1)EC Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund COM(2018) 372 .
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