In mid-October I was invited along with other Canadian entrepreneurs and journalists to Warsaw and Poznan, Poland. The trip was sponsored by the Polish government and we were treated to sightseeing and a museum tour (Warsaw Uprising Museum) of Warsaw as well as seeing some of the work that’s being done in Poland in the area of environmental protection.
The trip was planned around Poleko, Poland’s largest environmental fair, now in its 26th year. We landed in Warsaw, where we spent two days before heading to Poznan, 350 km northwest of Warsaw. It’s an interesting country with a long and rich history. For instance, I didn’t know that Poland was the second country in the world to develop a constitution (1791), creating the first constitutional monarchy; also important is that its King was elected. I also didn’t know that it has a highly educated population, and I was told that 70% of the population has a Master’s degree (I haven’t been able to confirm this information however). However, the OECD better living index indicates that 89% of the population has a high school diploma or equivalent, which is second highest in the OECD.
Some more facts:
- Poland’s population is 38 million. About 2 million less than before World War 2.
- Gross Domestic Product is $517.5 billion (USD) (2013). GDP (purchasing power parity): $815 billion (USD)
- Gross Domestic Product per person:$13,431.95 (estimate for 2013); $20,600 USD (ppp)(estimated for 2011).
- Average household net disposable income: $16,294 (USD)
- Unemployment rate (as of July, 2014): 9%
- Currency: the Zloty. current exchange rate $1 CDN=$2.96 PLN (Zloty).
- GDP by sector: Agriculture: 4%, Industry: 33.3%; Services: 62.7%
- Energy mix: 92% of electricity production is coal based. 55% of all energy production is from coal. 6.75% is from renewable energy.
- As part of the national energy strategy, Poland is developing two nuclear plants, the first of which is to come online in 2022.
- Air quality: level of PM10 (a small particulate pollution) 32.9 µg/m3.
- Total Greenhouse gas emissions including land change and use (2011): 329.7 MtCO2e (megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent gases)
In comparison with Canada:
- Canada’s population is 35 million.
- Gross Domestic Product is $1.85 trillion (USD). GDP (purchasing ower parity): $1.518 trillion (2013) USD. (approx. double Poland’s)
- Gross Domestic Product per person: $51,958 USD; GDP (ppp): $43,100 USD.
- Average household net disposable income: $30,212 USD
- Unemployment rate (as of Sept, 2014): 6.8%
- GDP by sector: Agriculture: 1.7%, Industry: 28.4%, Services: 69.9%
- Energy mix: 63% of electricity production is hydro based (although if broken down by province the number varies widely), 15% nuclear, 13% coal, natural gas 6%, wind and other sources make up the difference.
- In August, 2014, there was agreement between the provinces for the need for a new national energy strategy. Currently, energy policy is managed at the provincial level.
- Air quality: level of 14.5 µg/m3.
- Total Greenhouse gas emissions including land change and use (2011): 847.08 MtCO2e (megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent gases)
While I’m writing up a few posts about specific aspects of the trip, I thought I’d put up a few of the photos I took while there. I wanted to put some music to the photos for added benefit, however, I’m not that tech savvy and I worry about copyright. I always think of the elevator music from Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightening Aren’t So Frightening!” (Yes, I’m dating myself, I know).
Manufaktura — an old textile factory refurbished into a shopping mall. Lodz, Poland
Stary Browar, Poznan, converted brewery into shopping mall.The philoshophy is that “art is supplemented by business.”