Commissioner for Human Rights

Light Pollution. Response of the Warsaw Authorities


Light pollution is becoming an increasingly visible problem in our country. While artificial light undoubtedly improves safety and accessibility after dark, excessive outdoor lighting can have detrimental effects on human health and the environment, not only in cities. Unfortunately, there are currently no adequate nationwide regulations to effectively address this problem.
However, some cities are trying to implement their own solutions to reduce light pollution. In Warsaw, for example, various initiatives have been introduced, such as landscape resolutions on illuminated advertising and programmes to switch from sodium to LED lighting. Despite these efforts, there are some doubts as to whether these measures are sufficient or properly implemented.
The response from the Secretary of the City of Warsaw indicates that, although there are no specific nationwide regulations, Warsaw's actions to limit excessive lighting have prevented it from standing out negatively among other major Polish cities in terms of light pollution. Efforts such as replacing street lighting with LED luminaires are helping to reduce light spill and energy consumption.
The Warsaw authorities stress that, while local initiatives can achieve some results, comprehensive national regulations based on scientific evidence and economic considerations are needed to effectively tackle light pollution in Poland. Despite active efforts by various municipalities, a piecemeal approach is unlikely to provide a satisfactory solution to the problem.