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Poland announced the official host of COP24

In 2018 Poland will host the most important forum dedicated to global climate policy in the world: 24. session of the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) along with the 14th session of the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 14).

The proposal to organize COP24 in Poland was submitted on behalf of the Government of Poland by Minister Jan Szyszko during his presentation at the plenary session of COP22 conference in Marrakesh.

- “Climate policy is of priority to Poland. Our involvement in this area may be perfectly exemplified by among others implementation of our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Poland reduced its CO2 emission by 32% comparing to the required 6% and simultaneously progressed its economic growth” - said Minister Jan Szyszko.

- “The efforts made by the Polish Government to host the subsequent climate summit prove our involvement in actions towards climate protection. Awarding the organization of this event is both a great honour and success of Poland” – adds Minister Szyszko. The decision on organizing the COP24 climate summit in Poland in 2018 was made on Friday evening during the COP22 in Marrakesh.

Poland pursues to form its climate policy based on sequestration of CO2 from air by the forests (forest carbon farms) and renewable energy sources, including for the most geothermal energy development. 

- “During the COP24 conference we intend to demonstrate how to neutralize the emission using innovation and CO2 sequestration by forests and soils to the other states. To prove our successes, Poland wishes also to propose the studies on economic conditions of carbon dioxide reduction by its sequestration by forests and soils for global sustainable development. We want to know: what is more effective – sequestration or reduction and study this issue in different parts of the world, both in terms of temperatures, species biodiversity, hunger elimination and food production” – adds Minister Jan Szyszko.

COP climate conferences

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the critical authority of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC. The Convention signed in 1992 during the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit aims at climate protection and reduction of greenhouse gas emission in the world.

COP supervises the process of implementation of the Convention provisions by the individual states (Parties to the Convention) and works out the new provisions in the form of decisions. It was the 1997 Conference of the Parties where the Kyoto Protocol was signed – an agreement establishing the climate protection obligations of well-developed countries, including in particular obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emission.

Why Poland organizes COPs?

Effective counteracting the climate changes rests in the best interest of Poland. To this end, the actions for climate protection must be implemented by all states. These efforts, as emphasized by Poland, need to be adjusted to the capacity of individual countries to balance the obligations of the states in different condition and at different development stages and exposed to negative effects of climate changes at different level.

One should emphasize that emission from the European Union accounts for only 1% of global CO2 emission and that this share demonstrates a downward trend. Thus, even if the EU emission drops down to zero level, without a global understanding the negative processes will be continued.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 in Paris during the COP21 climate conference. This is the first international agreement obliging all states to act for climate protection. On behalf of the Polish Government, the content of the new climate agreement was negotiated by the delegation headed by Minister Jan Szyszko, Minister of Environment. 

The Agreement focuses on reducing CO2 concentration in air in the most immediate, least expensive and most effective manner to improve water and air quality, prevent desertification and biodiversity loss. The actions aiming at CO2 concentration reduction will be taken by all parties to the agreement, with consideration to their specifics and socioeconomic capacity. The Paris Agreement establishes a target of keeping the global temperature increase below 2oC by the end of this century. It states also that in this period of time we should balance the greenhouse gas emission and their sequestration, among others by the forests.

- “We must remember that the key objective of the Paris Agreement is decreasing the carbon dioxide concentration in air. We must achieve it as soon, as least expensively and as most effectively as possible. We may take two paths to succeed: firstly, emission reduction and secondly: CO2 sequestration from air by living ecosystems, such as soils and forests. These actions aim at enhancing the quality of air and water, protect biodiversity and prevent desertification, soil degradation and improve its productivity to enable effective hunger and migration tackling” – says  Minister Szyszko.

The actions aiming at CO2 concentration reduction will be delivered by implementation of the new technologies and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in energy balance. Emission balancing will be delivered by increasing afforestation. The latter provision was introduced to the agreement thanks to unique determination of the Polish delegates.

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