During the COP24 in Katowice, we have to look at the climate change and the fight for a clean environment globally. It is also necessary to provide everyone with equal opportunities for the energy transition. These were the main topics of the “COP24 – the Road to Katowice” conference that took place on the 6th of November 2018 in Brussels. It was co-organised by the Polish Electricity Association.
The session’s participants included Prof. Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Vice President of the European Parliament; Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament; Monika Morawiecka, representative of the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE), Strategy Director at PGE, and Michał Kurtyka, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Environment, President of COP24, who stressed the importance of the December summit in Poland. “This will be the third Polish COP. We will be discussing what rules we will be following concerning the reduction of emissions and absorption of CO2. We have conducted our energy transition and the fight for a clean environment at a significant cost and we wish to share the spirit of solidarity with the world in Katowice” – stressed Michał Kurtyka.
The topics discussed during the meeting revolved around the main expectations of the COP24, potential obstacles to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the participation of the EU and Poland in its realisation. “We are in support of the global warming dialogue, the Paris Agreement and the energy transition. The Polish power sector is changing. It is not a common knowledge that Poland has more installed wind capacity than Denmark. We are able to reach 10 GW from offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea” – praised Poland’s efforts Monika Morawiecka, representative of the PKEE and Strategy Director at PGE. She has also pointed out a very important aspect of the global approach to the climate change problem. “I am not sure if increasing the ambitions in the European Union, which is not the biggest emitter at all, will yield the desired result. We do not know if others will follow suit. High prices of the CO2 emission rights are damaging to us – they take away our money we could be spending on the energy transition” – added Ms Morawiecka.
The global approach to climate change will be extremely important during the COP24 in Katowice. Particularly so, in the context of withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Agreement. As the participants in the Brussels meeting have stressed, the climate is influenced not only by America and the European Union. “I sometimes have the impression that we are not considering the international context of climate change combat; we are not comparing what is happening in countries such as China, Russia or India. India, for instance, needs clean coal technologies. Without changes in other big countries, our fight will be pointless” – stressed Prof. Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Vice President of the European Parliament. In this context, it is necessary for everyone to join forces in the common fight for the climate. “People have to understand that these measures are for them, not against them” – said Jerzy Buzek and added that the EU has 41 coal mining regions in 12 Member States. “We will be working on establishing the funds that will support delivering the energy transition, as it is about the quality of the air we are breathing and water we are drinking” – added the former Polish Prime Minister.