Bloomberg Businessweek

The Pollution-Busting Drones Of Krakow

• Poland’s historic capital is taking action for cleaner air
Witkowski’s drone checks chimneys for signs that furnaces are illegally burning coal or trash

Marek Witkowski’s patrol car comes to a halt in a cloud of dust. Within minutes, he’s powered up his four-rotor drone and sent it into battle against the scourge of his country.

The Krakow officer is on the front line of a clean-air revolution in one of the most polluted cities in the most polluted country in the European Union. The cameras check chimneys from above for signs that household furnaces are illegally burning coal or trash. “That smoke is white, so they’re using gas—it’s OK,” Witkowski says as he steers his drone into a plume emanating from a smokestack 50 meters (164 feet) away. “Let’s move on.”

Tackling climate change has become a top political priority in Europe. Green parties are

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