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Vice-minister Paweł Sałek joined the COP13 in China

The thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification is held between 6 and 16 September in China. The session has been attended by Paweł Sałek, Vice-Minister of Environment and Government Plenipotentiary for Climate Policy.

During COP13, the participant discuss the issue of counteracting desertification in the countries affected by severe draughts, including in particular in Africa. During the meeting of the ministers (so called High-Level Segment), Vice-Minister Paweł Sałek chaired the special session on the role of self-governments in solving the soil degradation issues.

In his presentation, Vice-Minister pointed out at the specific role of synergy between the Rio de Janeiro conventions (The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) in context of counteracting desertification and degradation of soils.

“Taking joint actions to counteract soil degradation, reaching climate neutrality and adapting to climate change are of particular significance. The key role in this process has been played by self-governments executing specific activities at their level” – said Vice-Minister Paweł Sałek.

According to Vice-Minister, the example of such activities in Poland includes the “Development of Climate Change Adaptation Plans for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants” project. The aim of this initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Environment is to assess susceptibility to climate change of the 44 largest cities in Poland and planning the adaptation activities adequate to the identified threats.

Vice-Minister Sałek pointed also out at the concept of the Forest Carbon Farms developed in Poland. This project consists in, among others, increasing afforestation, which contributes to better share of CO2 sequestration by the forests and counteracts negative effects of climate change, including draught. In addition, carbon dioxide sequestered by soils prevents their degradation and thus contributes to better biodiversity at the given area.

At the end of the session, Vice-Minister Paweł Sałek invited the participants to join t the COP24 conference to be held in Katowice on 2 – 14 December 2018.

The session was attended by the representatives of local administration from Europe, South America and Asia.

Meeting between Vice-Minister Sałek and Minister Xie

During his visit to China, Vice-Minister Paweł Sałek held also the meeting with the special representative of the Chinese government on climate change - Zhenhua Xie. The leitmotiv of discussions was climate policy, including in particular the expectations towards the climate conferences i.e. COP23 in Bonn and COP24 in Katowice.

The Ministers agreed that the key challenge for COP24 to be chaired by Poland will be to adopt the rules implementing the Paris Agreement. Minister Xie offered his support and cooperation in delivering this objective. In return, Vice-Minister Sałek invited Minister Xie to visit Poland in order to share the experiences gained by our country in coal energy industry and greenhouse gas sequestration by forests and soils. 

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