MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
Marcinjozwiak; License CC BY-SA 4.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Poland_forests.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
LukaszKatlewa; License CC BY-SA 4.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Protest_in_Gdansk_against_Poland%27s_new_abortion_laws_24.10.2020.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Radek Kołakowski; License CC BY 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Warszawski_smog_(22798350941).jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Based on Poland’s existing renewable resources and economic activity the country has approximately twice as many people than is sustainable. With a below replacement fertility rate since the 1990s and nominal negative net migration, Poland has since 2000 seen a gradual decline in its overall population.
Thanks to this population decline the past two decades Poland has made significant progress in the area of environmental protection and reduced the pressure on the environment. For example forest cover has been increasing since the mid 1990s and reached 29.3% of the country's territory in 2012. (1) Despite such successes some problems remain. Domestic material consumption has been growing intensively in correlation with economic growth, and the country notably has the worst air pollution in the European Union.
In a misguided attempt by conservatives and religiously driven groups to increase Poland’s population the ruling Law and Justice party incentivized larger families through increasing monthly payments for more children. Additionally in January 2021 it enacted a near total ban on abortion even with public opinion polls that show a majority of citiizens opposed additional restrictions. Women's rights groups estimate 80-120k polish women seek abortions outside their country every year. Poland is also one of the few countries in the EU that requires a prescription for emergency contraception, i.e. the morning after pill, which by its nature requires immediate use to be effective. (2)