Preparations for COP24 were presented during a press conference in the Ministry of Environment by Prof. Jan Szyszko, Minister of Environment, Paweł Sałek, Vice Minister of Environment and Government Plenipotentiary for Climate Policy, Mariusz Skiba, Deputy Mayor of Katowice and Kazimierz Kujda, Chairman of the Board of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.
Why is COP24 so important for Poland?
“The event will be attended by nearly 30000 delegates from all over the world, including heads of governments and ministers responsible for environment and climate issues,” Prof. Jan Szyszko emphasised.
"The choice of Poland as a host of the conference was not accidental. We are among the leaders of global climate policy", added Prof. Jan Szyszko, Minister of Environment.
The presidency during COP24 will be an opportunity to present Poland’s position in the creation of global climate policy, as well as our achievements in the sustainable transformation of industry. The latter issue is particularly important in the context of the current climate policy challenges, where the need to mitigate the social impact of the energy transition, including the shift towards green jobs, is becoming increasingly important.
“Polish experience in this field has met with great interest of developing countries and countries undergoing economic transformation,” said Professor Jan Szyszko.
“COP24 Conference will also be a key moment for mobilising a global climate action.
The adoption of a package of decisions ensuring full implementation of the Paris Agreement (the so-called implementation package) is planned for 2018 during COP24”, said Paweł Sałek, Vice Minister of Environment.
The implementation package will provide guidance regarding the implementation of the Paris Agreement to all countries. This is a prerequisite for achieving the objectives of the Agreement – keeping the temperature increase on Earth well below 2°C and adapting to climate change.
Katowice to host COP24
The COP24 Conference will take place in Katowice.
“The city of Katowice is one of the symbols of Poland's development and economic success. Both the city and the whole region are transforming into science, innovation, culture and modern industry zone, with the decreasing economic and social importance of mining and energy-intensive heavy industry,” says Mariusz Skiba, Deputy Mayor of Katowice.
“The adoption of the package in Poland will make Katowice a symbol of the success of international climate negotiations, as well as the world's determination to fight climate change,” Vice Minister Paweł Sałek added.
The particular importance of the Polish Presidency and COP24 in Katowice was also emphasised in the conclusions of the European Council adopted at the meeting on 14 December 2017. The provisions, elaborated as a result of actions taken by Poland and France, confirm the commitment of the European Union and its Member States to quick and full implementation of the Paris Agreement, naming Katowice as the place of adoption of the package implementing the Agreement.
In order to ensure efficient organisation of the COP24 conference, the Ministry of Environment has prepared a draft law on specific solutions related to the organisation of the summit. This draft was adopted by the Council of Ministers on the 5th of December 2017 and will be considered during the upcoming meeting of the Sejm. On the 9th of January 2018, the Sejm Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Forestry and the Committee on Foreign Affairs are planning to read the draft during their respective meetings.
COP24 is an abbreviated name of the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP24).
The conference will take place in Katowice, from 3rd-14th of December 2018.
Poland will preside over the Conference of the Parties for the fourth time; moreover, it will be also the third time this event is hosted in Poland (to date, COP14 in 2008 took place in Poznań, while COP19 in 2013 was hosted by Warsaw).
For many years, Poland has been involved in activities for climate protection. We are one of the world leaders in this area. This is evidenced, among other things, by the implementation of our commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. We have reduced CO2 emissions by 32 per cent compared to the required 6 per cent, with simultaneous economic growth.
The Paris Agreement
The Agreement is the first international agreement in history, which compels all countries in the world to take action on climate protection. At the same time, the Paris Agreement guarantees freedom for all parties to the agreement to choose methods of climate protection. Thus, Poland will not have to give up coal, which could lead to dramatic increases in energy prices for households.
The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 at COP21 in Paris. On behalf of the Polish government, a delegation chaired by Prof. Jan Szyszko, Minister of Environment negotiated the provisions of the new agreement.
“The Paris Agreement was a huge success for Poland. The aim of this agreement is to reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere as quickly, cheaply and as efficiently as possible. We will implement our commitments resulting from the Agreement through the development of modern technologies and the uptake of carbon dioxide by forests and soils. Poland has great successes and experience, especially in this last area,” said Prof. Jan Szyszko.