COP24 themes: social programmes, electromobility and forests

On Thursday the Polish government presented three documents to be widely discussed during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, dubbed the COP24 climate summit.

During the so-called PreCOP conference, titled “COP24 and the Future of Climate Policy: What Role for the Three Seas Initiative?” and held on Thursday in Cracow, Michał Kurtyka, the government’s coordinator of COP24 preparations, presented three documents which Poland, as the summit host, will propose to participants of the COP24 December 3-14 talks, as a way to fight climate change.

Social programmes

The first of the documents, titled Just Transition Declaration, deals with the social costs of reductions in CO2 emissions.

"The emission reduction policy will meet social resistance and represent significant political risk if it is not accompanied by social programs for employees who may lose their jobs," Mr Kurtyka said.

Electromobility

Another document, to be presented during the summit, is related to supporting electromobility, an idea originally developed jointly by Poland and Great Britain. It is meant to “to stimulate legal, economic and social conditions for the development of electromobility and clean transport. We also want to organise a global electromobility forum within the framework of the United Nations,” Mr Kurtyka explained.

Forests

During COP24 Poland wants to present a way to balance the reduction of CO2 emissions with its absorption, using innovative solutions in forest management. “We want to adopt a ministerial declaration calling on the parties to reduce the greenhouse gas content in the atmosphere and to acknowledge the key role of the biotope in achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement”, the coordinator said.

Three Seas perspective

Mr Kurtyka also referred to the Three Seas Initiative’s potential role in creating European and global climate policy.

"In the region of the Three Seas, we all face the threats posed by global warming. One of them is, for example, desertification and drought, which cause multi-billion losses. The Three Seas Initiative member countries are not uniform in terms of their environment or energy. Czechs for instance rely on nuclear energy, Poland on coal, but we can all think about cooperation in several areas. It may be, for example, the integration of renewable energy sources into one network and (...) creating a common energy storage system and increasing energy efficiency. Energy consumption per capita in the region is still lower than the average in the European Union," Kurtyka explained.

"We must also think about the diversification of our energy mixes, including gas, which is contributed to by the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline or the LNG terminal in Świnoujście and the planned terminal on the Croatian island of Krk. These projects will contribute to increasing energy security in the region," said the representative of the Polish government.

"We are also looking for solutions in the transport sector. There are 13 million cars on Polish roads, the number of cars has increased by over one hundred percent in the other Three Seas countries. This has a bad effect on the air quality in cities. Therefore (...) we will encourage everyone to join [the originally Polish-British] agreement, in which we have declared our will to promote and support electromobility, which may help to solve many difficult issues related to the environment in the region," he added.

The expected outcome from the Katowice-held summit is the agreement of the participating states on the implementation of the global Paris climate agreement, i.e. adopting the so-called Paris Rulebook.

More details about the PreCOP conference can be watched on our TV channel - Poland In Live.

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