COP24 Katowice

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hindou Ibrahim in a discussion with Vice Minister Michał Kurtyka during COP24

In the margins of the Leaders’ Summit on December 3, during the COP24 Conference, a discussion panel took place with actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa, and the activist fighting for the rights of indigenous populations Hindou Ibrahim. The Secretary of State at the Ministry of the Environment Michał Kurtyka, fulfilling the function of COP24 President, was animating the debate.

Challenges before the international community in the context of natural environment protection and the role of activism in climate policy making was the topic of the meeting. Participants agreed to say that the discussion around climate policy issues must imply concrete actions.

-  “It’s not just one more promise but an action. The real world bears many more challenges than action movies in which I played,” said Schwarzenegger. The former California governor was saying that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is possible but requires commitment of different sectors: politics, business, science. Referring to his own experiences with the electric car, he insisted that new technologies provide solutions to many climate-related problems. Other participants agreed with him, but – as Hindou Ibrahim warned – efforts must be made so that developed countries transfer technologies to developing countries. Ibrahim noted that a transformation based on solidarity – one of the main topics raised by the Polish Presidency at COP24 – should mean solidarity between a wealthy North and a poor South.

Taking at the end the role of moderator, Arnold Schwarzenegger asked a question to Michał Kurtyka about what he considers to be the biggest challenge during COP24 preparations. “A few sleepless nights”, replied the vice minister. “Sleepless because thinking about how much depends on this conference made that I felt I had a great responsibility. However, In this moment, I thought about my four-year old daughter, and I knew then that it is worth making efforts to build a friendly world for future generations.”

The panel was broadcasted through social media. The recording from the meeting is available on the UNFCCC’s official page on Facebook.

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