Financial involvement of local government units in achieving environmental objectives of sustainable development in Poland


environmental goals of sustainable development
sustainable and green finance
green investment expenditures
local finance
TOPSIS method

How to Cite

Bąk, I., Budzeń, D., Kryk, B., & Sobczyk, A. (2023). Financial involvement of local government units in achieving environmental objectives of sustainable development in Poland . Economics and Environment, 86(3), 288-311.


Poland’s achievement of sustainable development goals, including environmental goals, requires substantial financial outlays and the necessity of incurring high expenditures by, among others, local government units (LGU). The article focuses on green investment expenditures incurred by LGU budgets.  The aim is to identify and diagnose the spatial variation of these expenditures in the context of sustainable development goals and the new taxonomy for classifying economic activities as environmentally sustainable.  The added value of the article is: first, to identify the structure of green investment expenditures of LGU, which enables to show their changes in the context of sustainable development goals, and second, to conduct a comprehensive comparative analysis of these expenditures, including all cities with county rights and municipalities, divided into urban, rural and urban-rural types in Poland into three periods: 2004-2006, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020.  The study, carried out using the TOPSIS method, showed a wide variation in the level of green investment expenditures made from the budgets of local government units.



Al-Alawi, H., Nobanee, H., & Nobanee, H. (2020). A Study on Green Taxation and its Impact on Economic Development: A Mini-Review. SSRN Electron.

Alińska, A., Frydrych, S., & Klein, E. (2018). Finanse w koncepcji zrównoważonego rozwoju. Kwartalnik Kolegium Ekonomiczno-Społecznego. Studia i Prace, (1), 27-44. (in Polish).

Al-Sheryani, K., & Nobanee, H. (2020). Green Finance: A Mini-Review. SSRN Electron.

Aspinall, N. G., Jones, S. R., Mc Neill, E. H., Werner, R. A., & Zalk, T. (2018). Sustainability and the financial system. Review of literature 2015. British Actuarial Journal, 23, e10.

Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego. (2022). Zrównoważony rozwój na tle wyzwań inwestycyjnych i sytuacji finansowej polskich samorządów. (in Polish).

Batrancea, I., Batrancea, L., Rathnaswamy, M., Tulai, H., Fatacean, G., & Rus, M.-I. (2020). Greening the Financial System in USA, Canada and Brazil: A Panel Data Analysis. Mathematics, 8(12), 2217.

Breuer, H., Fichter, K., Freund, F. L., & Tiemann, I. (2018). Sustainability-oriented business model development: Principles, criteria and tools. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 10(2), 256-286.

Budzeń, D., & Marchewka-Bartkowiak, K. (2022a). „Zielone” wydatki samorządowe w obliczu europejskiej taksonomii zrównoważonego rozwoju – nowe propozycje klasyfikacyjne. In L. Kotecki (Ed.), Zielone finanse w Polsce 2022 (pp. 60-76). Marki: Instytut Odpowiedzialnych Finansów i UN Global Compact Network Poland. (in Polish).

Budzeń, D., & Marchewka-Bartkowiak, K. (2022b). Wydatki zrównoważone środowiskowo w budżetach lokalnych w Polsce. Optimum. Economic Studies, 3(109), 41-54. (in Polish).

Dasgupta, D., Hourcade, J.-C., & Nafo, S. (2019). A Climate Finance Initiative to Achieve the Paris Agreement and Strenghten Sustainable Development.

Ding, X., Wei, L., Dujuan, H., & Xinghong, Q. (2022). Does Innovation Climate Help to Effectiveness of Green Finance Product R&D Team? The Mediating Role of Knowledge Sharing and Moderating Effect of Knowledge Heterogeneity. Sustainability, 14(7), 3926.

Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services, & Capital Markets Union. (2023). Sustainable finance package.

European Commission. (2010). Europe 2020: A Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.

European Commission. (2018). Final Report 2018 by the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance Secretariat provided by the Financing a Sustainable European Economy.

European Commission. (2019). Communication from The Commission to The European Parliament, The European Council, The Council, The European Economic And Social Committee And The Committee Of The Regions The European Green Deal, Pub. L. No. 52019DC0640.

European Commission. (2020). Communication from The Commission to The European Parliament, The Council, The European Economic And Social Committee And The Committee Of the Regions Sustainable Europe Investment Plan European Green Deal Investment Plan, Pub. L. No. 52020DC0021.

European Commission. (2023a, April 10). Green Taxation - In Support of a More Sustainable Future.

European Commission. (2023b, April 30). What is sustainable finance?

European Parliament Resolution of 14 March 2019 on Climate Change - a European Strategic Long-Term Vision for a Prosperous, Modern, Competitive and Climate Neutral Economy in Accordance with the Paris Agreement European Parliament 2019, Pub. L. No. 52019IP0217, 23 OJ C (2021a).

European Parliament Resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal, Pub. L. No. 52020IP0005, 270 OJ C (2021b).

Ferreira, M. C., de Carvalho, R., Amorim, S. V., Kimura, H., & de Moraes Barboza, F. L. (2016). A systematic review of literature about finance and sustainability. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 6(2), 112-147.

Filipiak, B. Z. (2022). Trends and Prospects in Climate Finance. In I.Y. Gok (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Global Aspects of Sustainable Finance in Times of Crises (pp. 92-113). Hershey: IGI Global.

Filipiak, B. Z., & Wyszkowska, D. (2022). Determinants of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in European Union Countries. Energies, 15, 9561.

Folque, M., Escrig‐Olmedo, E., & Corzo Santamaria, T. (2021). Sustainable development climate change context. Sustainable Development, 29(5), 876-890.

Gambetta, N., Azadian, P., Hourade, V., & Reyes, M. E. (2019). The financing framework for sustainable development in emerging economies: The case of Uruguay. Sustainability, 11(4), 1059.

Geissdoerfer, M., Morioka, S. N., de Carvalho, M. M., & Evans, S. (2018). Business models and supply chains for the circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 190, 712-721.

Ghose, P. S. (2021). Selection of Plant Location for a Steel Project by TOPSIS. World Journal of Applied Chemistry, 6(1), 1-5.

He, L., Zhang, L., Zhong, Z., Wang, D., & Wang, F. (2019). Green credit, renewable energy investment and green economy development: Empirical analysis based on 150 listed companies of China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 208, 363-372.

Höhne, N., Khosla, S., Fekete, H., & Gilbert, A. (2012). Mapping of green finance delivered by IDFC members in 2011.

Houston, J. F., & Shan, H. (2022). Corporate ESG Profiles and Banking Relationships. Review of Financial Studies, 35(7), 3373-3417.

International Monetary Fund. (2019). Fiscal policies for Paris climate strategies: From principle to practice.

Kirschenmann, K. (2022). The EU Taxonomy’s (Potential) Effects on the Banking Sector and Bank Lending to Firms. The Economists’Vice, 19(2), 275-283.

Klub Odpowiedzialnych Finansów. (2020). „Zielone finanse” - nowe spojrzenie na finansowanie. (in Polish).

Kryk, B. (2003). Rachunek sozoekonomiczny działalności gospodarczej na przykładzie energetyki zawodowej regionu szczecińskiego. Rozprawy i Studia/Uniwersytet Szczeciński, 485, 78-164. (in Polish).

Kryk, B. (2021). Selected management accounting tools supporting companies’ green decisions in the context of environmental management accounting. In K. Nermend, M. Łatuszyńska & E. Tahlassinos (Eds.), Decision-Making in Management: Methods and Behavioral Tools (pp. 37-51). Springer International Publishing.

Liobikienė, G., Butkus, M., & Matuzevičiūtė, K. (2019). The Contribution of Energy Taxes to Climate Change Policy in the European Union (EU). Resources, 8(2), 63.

Lokuwaduge, Ch., & Heenetigala, K. (2017). Integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Disclosure for a Sustainable Development: An Australian Study. Business Strategy and the Environment, 26(4), 438-450.

Lüdeke-Freund, F., Carroux, S., Joyce, A., Massa, L., & Breuer, H. (2018). The sustainable business model pattern taxonomy - 45 patterns to support sustainability-oriented business model innovation. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 15, 145-162.

Maruszkin, R. (2021). Taxonomy, i.e. the rules for classifying economic activity as environmentally sustainable in accordance with Regulation 2020/852. In C. Mik & A. Borek (Eds.), Climate change in the light of European Union law and Polish law on a comparative background (pp. 136-147). Warsaw: IOŚ-PIB. (in Polish).

Meo, M. S., & Karim, M. Z. A. (2022). The Role of Green Finance in Reducing CO2 Emissions: An Empirical Analysis. Borsa Istanbul Review, 22(1), 169-178.

Mezzanotte, F. E. (2020). The EU policy on sustainable finance: A discussion on the design of ESG-Fit suitability requirements. Review of Banking & Financial Law, 40, 249-313.

Młodak, A. (2006). Taxonomic analysis in regional statistics. Warszawa: Difin. (in Polish).

Mohammad, S., & Kaushal, V. K. (2018). Green Finance: A Step towards Sustainable Development. MUDRA: Journal of Finance and Accounting, 5(1), 59-74.

Morano, P., Tajani, F., & Anelli, D. (2020). A decision support model for investment through the social impact bonds. The case of the city of Bari (Italy). Journal Valori e Valutazioni, 24, 163-178.

Muktadir-Al-Mukit, D., & Hossain, M. A. (2020). Sustainable Development and Green Financing. A study on the banking sector in Bangladesh. In A. Singh & E.M. Reji (Eds.), Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development (pp. 168-187). Routledge India.

Muñoz-Torres, M. J., Fernandez-Izquierdo, M. Á., Rivera-Lirio, J. M., & Escrig-Olmedo, E. (2018). Can environmental, social, and governance rating agencies favor business models that promote a more sustainable development? Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 26(2), 439-452.

Niyazbekova, S., Jazykbayeva, B., Mottaeva, A., Beloussova, E., Suleimenova, B., & Zueva, A. (2021). The Growth of "Green" finance at the global level in the context of sustainable economic development. Proceedings of the XXII International Scientific Conference Energy Management of Municipal Facilities and Sustainable Energy Technologies (EMMFT-2020), Voronezh, Russia, 244, 10058-10067.

Oktasari, D. P., Jamaludin, N., Saputra, J., Yusliza, M. Y., & Muhammad, Z. (2021). A Review of Sustainable Green Finance Literature: MiniReview Approach. Proceedings of the 11th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Singapore, 3194-3207.

Parida, P., & Sahoo, S. (2013). Multiple Atribute Decision Making Approach by TOPSIS technique. International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology, 2(11), 907-912.

Park, H., & Kim, J. D. (2020). Transition towards green banking: role of financial regulators and financial institutions. Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, 5, 5.

Pedersen, L. H., Fitzgibbons, S., & Pomorski, L. (2021). Responsible Investing: The ESG-Efficient Frontier. Journal of Financial Economics, 142, 572-597.

Pisano, U., Martinuzzi, A., & Bruckner, B. (2012). The financial sector and sustainable development: Logics, principles and actors.

PRI. (2017). The SDG investment case.

PWC. (2013). Exploring Green Finance Incentives in China.

Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088, Pub. L. No. 32020R0852, 198 OJ L (2020).

Regulation (EU) 2021/1056 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 June 2021 establishing the Just Transition Fund, Pub. L. No. 32021R1056, 231 OJ L (2021a).

Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 2021 establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulations (EC) No 401/2009 and (EU) 2018/1999 (‘European Climate Law’), Pub. L. No. 32021R1119, 243 OJ L (2021b).

Regulation of the Minister of Finance of 10 March 2010 on the detailed classification of structural expenditure. Journal of Laws of 2010, No. 44, item 255. (in Polish).

Rinscheid, A., Pianta, S., & Weber, E. (2021). What shapes public support for climate change mitigation policies? The role of descriptive social norms and elite cues. Behavioural Public Policy, 5(4), 503-527.

Roszkowska, E. (2011) Multi-criteria decision making models by applying the TOPSIS method to crisp and interval data. Multiple Criteria Decision Making, (6), 200-230.

Rybak, A., Joostberens, J., Manowska, A., & Pielot, J. (2022). The Impact of Environmental Taxes on the Level of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Poland and Sweden. Energies, 15(12), 4465.

Sachs, J. D., Woo, W. T., Yoshino, N., & Taghizadeh-Hesary, F. (2019b). Importance of Green Finance for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Energy Security. In J. Sachs, W. Woo, N. Yoshino & F. Taghizadeh-Hesary (Eds.), Handbook of Green Finance (pp. 3-12). Singapore: Springer.

Sachs, J. D., Woo, W. T., Yoshino, N., & Taghizadeh-Hesary, F. (2019a). Why Is Green Finance Important? ADBI Working Paper, 917, 1-9.

Schoenmaker, D. (2017). Investing for the common good: A sustainable finance framework. Brussels: Bruegel.

Schoenmaker, D. (2018). A framework for sustainable finance. CEPR Discussion Paper, DP12603, 1-26.

Schoormann, T., Behrens, D., Kolek, E., & Knackstedt, R. (2016). Sustainability in business models a literature-review-based design-Science-oriented research agenda. Proceedings of the 24th European Conference on Information Systems, Istanbul, Turkey.

Sciarelli, M., Cosimato, S., Landi, G., & Iandolo, F. (2021). Socially responsible investment strategies for the transition towards sustainable development: the importance of integrating and communicating ESG. The TQM Journal, 33(7), 39-56.

Spinaci, S. (2021). Green and sustainable finance.

Tierney, M. J., Nielson, D. L., Hawkin, D. G., Roberts, J. T., Findley, M. G., Powers, R. M., Parks, B., Wilson, S. E., & Hicks, R. L. (2011). More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData. World Development, 39(11), 1891-1906.

United Nations. (2015). Adoption of the Paris Agreement. Framework Convention on Climate Change. United Nations FCCC Int. FCCC/CP/2015/L.9.

United Nations. (2019a). More money needed to implement Sustainable Development Goals, Secretary-General tells ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum, calling 2019 “Defining Year”.

United Nations. (2019b). Scaling finance for the Sustainable Development Goals. Foreign direct investment, financial intermediation and public-private partnerships.

United Nations. (2019c). Scaling SDG Finance for the Sustainable Development Goals. Report.

Volz, U. (2018). Fostering Green Finance for Sustainable Development in Asia. Tokyo: ADBI.

Wackerbauer, H. C. J., & Sitteneder, T. (2021). Economic Policy Goals of the Sustainable Finance Approach: Challenges for SMEs. CESifo Forum, 22(3), 20-25.

Wang, K., Tsai, S.-B., Du, X., & Bi, D. (2019). Internet Finance, Green Finance, and Sustainability. Sustainability, 11(14), 3856.

Wang, Y., Zha, N., Lei, X., & Long, R. (2021). Green Finance Innovation and Regional Green Development. Sustainability, 13(15), 8230.

Yoon, K., & Kim, W. (2017). The behavioral TOPSIS. Expert Systems with Applications, 89, 266-272.

Zhang, D., Zhang, Z., & Managi, Sh. (2019). A bibliometric analysis on green finance: Current status, development, and future directions. Finance Research Letters, 29, 425-430.

Zioło, M., Bak, I., & Cheba, K. (2021). The role of sustainable finance in achieving Sustainable Development Goals: does it work? Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 27(1), 45-70.

Zioło, M., Bak, I., Filipiak, B. Z., & Spoz, A. (2022). In Search of A Financial Model for Sustainable Economy. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 28(4), 920-947.

Zioło, M., Filipiak, B. Z., Bąk, I., & Cheba, K. (2019). Finance, sustainability and negative externalities. An overview of the European context. Sustainability, 11(15), 4249.

Zorlu, P. (2018). Transforming the Financial System for Delivering Sustainable Development—A High-Level Overview. Kanagawa, Japan: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.

Zulqarnain, R. M., Saeed, M., Ahmad, N., Dayan, F., & Ahmad, B. (2020). Application of TOPSIS Method for Decision Making. International Journal of Scientific Research in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, 7(2), 76-81.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Economics and Environment


Download data is not yet available.