COP24 Katowice

Climate Conference in Katowice officially launched

Precisely at 10 AM today, the global UN Climate Conference – COP24 began. The President of Poland Andrzej Duda and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the Minister of the Environment Henryk Kowalczyk, the COP24 President Michał Kurtyka, as well as heads of states and governments from tens of countries from around world have announced they will attend the event. Until the 14th of December representatives of 196 countries and the EU will work on reaching an agreement concerning goals set three years ago in the Paris Agreement. It’s the third time already that Poland is the host of a UN Climate Conference.

– The organisation of the global Climate Conference is a proof that our country wants to foster international cooperation. We need it, because the modern world still has to satisfy basic human needs. Millions of people live without a secure access to water, food, energy, and education – declared the President of Poland Andrzej Duda in the speech inaugurating the COP24 two-week conference.

- I believe that a responsible climate policy is built upon a solid fundament, which consists of sustainable relations between nature and technology, while recognising human dignity as a supreme value – he added.

The President was one of the guests who participated in the start of deliberations of the UN Climate Conference – COP24, organised in Katowice. The celebration took place in the “Mazowsze” plenary room, located in the International Congress Centre – being one of the constructions of the city built just for the needs of this event. Poland is host of the event for third time, it will preside the Conference of Parties for the fourth time within the framework of the global climate negotiations process. Until the 14th of December about 30 000 people from all over the world – representatives of countries and international institutions, non-governmental organisations and business – will be debating on how to reach the goals set in the 2015 Paris agreement.

Representatives of the United Nations authorities, who took control over all buildings for the time-being of the conference, also were present – the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. They both acknowledged that Poland was once again very well prepared to host an international event and that cooperation with special forces and public institutions went very smoothly.

The Ministry of the Environment, responsible for the preparation and organisation of the COP24 summit was represented by its head Henryk Kowalczyk. The Minister underlined the scale of progress that has been noted in Poland in the last three decades in the matter of fighting greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. – If thirty years ago one would describe today’s reality and standards in our country – no one would trust him. When communism collapsed in Poland, the country had huge problems related to natural environment degradation. However, greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 30 percent, we invest in electromobility, we realise the ambitious “Clean Air” programme. We have a lot of reasons to be proud but we are also conscious of the challenges still ahead – declared the Environment Minister.

Michał Kurtyka, the Secretary of State who took over the COP President function from the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, was accompanying Henryk Kowalczyk. He will be in charge not only during the summit, but also until the next year’s climate conference. The task of the COP President Michał Kurtyka will be to mitigate possible conflicts in order to meet the most important target – reaching a final agreement. – Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success – these words pronounced by Henry Ford accurately convey the narrative between COP21 and the challenge that is ahead of us today.- said Minister Kurtyka.

The mayor of the city of Katowice, Marcin Krupa, also participated in the ceremony. He stressed how much the city and the region changed in the last few years. – Thanks to investment in new technologies and to caring out a sustainable development policy we become a greener city. Silesia now is a model for other industrialised areas in Europe and in the world. Hosts from all over the world are impressed by the successful conjunction of tradition and modernity, by our respect of natural resources, innovativeness, and entrepreneurship. – said the Mayor of the City hosting the conference.

The UN Climate Conference – COP 24 in Katowice will last until 14th of December.

For more information:
Press Office of the COP24 Conference
Phone: +48 22 858 74 58 extension 200
e-mail: mediacop24@partnersi.com.pl

Photos: © cop24.gov.pl

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