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Follow the Data Podcast: Tackling Air Pollution Across Poland

Poland has some of the most toxic air in all of Europe, with 23 of the 50 most polluted cities in the European Union located in the country.

Much of this air pollution comes from common household boilers that burn wood and coal. Emissions from cars and factories exacerbate poor air quality and lead to 40,000 deaths from pollution-related illnesses every year.

Launched in 2015, Polish Smog Alert is a campaign group comprised of more than 50 local clean air initiatives dedicated to improving air quality in Poland. By increasing public awareness of the health impacts of air pollution and introducing anti-smog regulations at both the local and national levels, this movement has helped secure policy change that has improved air quality and public health across the country.

In 2023, Polish Smog Alert was named an Earthshot Prize Finalist in the “Clean Our Air” category, and the group receives tailored support from the Prize’s Global Alliance of partners to continue making a difference and driving urgent climate action. Our founder, Mike Bloomberg, serves as Global Advisor to the Winners of The Earthshot Prize, and Bloomberg Philanthropies – alongside Bloomberg LP – has supported The Earthshot Prize since its creation in 2020 as a Global Alliance Founding Partner.

On this episode, Katherine Oliver sits down with Polish Smog Alert co-founders Anna Dworakowska and Andrzej Guła to discuss the group’s mission to clean the air, their experience with The Earthshot Prize, the successes they have had so far, and where they will go from here.

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