COP24 Katowice

Official Start of the Polish Presidency

Michał Kurtyka, Secretary of State in the Environment Ministry, officially took over the COP Presidency from the Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama. His candidature has been accepted by acclamation by representatives of all parties to the Climate Conference.

Michał Kurtyka will be in charge for the next twelve months. The ceremony took place on the COP24 grounds in the International Congress Centre in Katowice. The President of Poland Andrzej Duda and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres as well as heads of states and governments from tens of world countries have announced they will attend the event.
Michał Kurtyka has been since the beginning very engaged in preparations to the UN Climate Change conference in Poland. Since April 2018 he has been fulfilling the function of plenipotentiary for COP24 Presidency. He has been participating in many talks and consultations, checking the readiness of the 196 countries and the EU to find an agreement. 

- I heard from all partners a preliminary but clear declaration of will to make COP24 a success. He adds: - A possible agreement means a unanimous acceptance of a complicated, multilateral document written in a technical language. It will not be easy, but wonders are the Poland’s speciality - admits Michał Kurtyka.

COP Presidency traditionally lasts a year and the change of the person fulfilling the function of COP President directly precedes the next climate conference. Until this morning the host of the previous conference, Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fidji, was in charge. He symbolically handed the hammer, being the attribute of the COP President, to Michał Kurtyka who took over his prerogatives.

The celebration has been preceded by the solemn opening of the global UN climate conference COP24, which will take place in the Upper Silesian capital. Over 26 000 guests from the entire world – representatives of states, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, business – will be debating over the way goals will be achieved, determined in the 2015 Paris agreement. The role of COP President is essential for the negotiations and to reach a possible agreement, while the impartiality rule enables him to take over the mediator’s role mitigating disputes and looking for compromises.

- I believe it is difficult to imagine a better place than Poland to elaborate a common position for all countries concerning climate policy. In the last thirty years our country reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% while constantly developing its economy at the same time. We invest in new technologies and innovation – for example electromobility – underlines the new COP President.

The UN Climate conference – COP24 in Katowice will last from the 2nd until the 14th of December.

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