The climate summit in Katowice is like a vegetarian congress in a slaughterhouse. This is just one of many such opinions about the COP24, which is currently taking place in the capital city of Silesia. And really, by striving for maximum objectivity, it is very difficult not to sign it.
First of all, it will not be about politics. I am not interested in spoils torn between two camps. I have watched too much of it. Too often, I saw two politicians hopping at each other's throats to see vodka after the program. I am interested in the life of my children. I want it to be as long and as happiest as possible.
Secondly, it will not be against miners. I am from Upper Silesia, I grew up among G stores (let the younger ask their parents). As a journalist, I had the opportunity to go down, not much, but still. Finally, I will never forget reporting the mining disaster in the Halemba mine in Ruda (November 2006, methane explosion, 23 miners). That's why I will always respect the hardships of this incredibly hard work.
There is no need to pretend, it's time to throw the flip-flops off your eyes.
But I do not like to have flip-flops in front of me, in any matter. This is not about coal and mining. The world changes in geometric progression. For everyone (almost), it becomes necessary to say goodbye to fossil fuels. And considering the greenhouse gas emissions - with coal in the first place.
I remember on this occasion that almost every second miner working in Europe is one of the Polish mines. It's a huge crowd - about 80,000 If we think about all these perinopal companies, for whom mining is not only the largest, but in many cases the only breadwinner, this number is growing a lot. Here, no one will come with Harry Potter's wand and with the help of magic will make everyone happy.
But we must remember that coal from our reality does not want to chase such and not another economic situation or strange fashion. It is rather a matter of responsibility and anticipation of what may not be tomorrow, but for 20, and maybe even 30 and more years.
The problem does not only affect Poland.
It is not that it is Poland, whose economy is about 80 percent. dependent on coal, grows into the largest poisoner. Others are also not guilty. In the European Union about 80 percent. greenhouse gas emissions comes from CO2 emissions. Poland is responsible for 9.2 percent. total EU emissions, while Germany for 22.9 percent, Great Britain - 11.7 percent, and France - 9.8 percent. (data from 2016).
It is no coincidence that we are witnessing a reform of the European emissions trading system. As a result, there are fewer CO2 allowances available in auctions. Thus, the price of the permit has grown from 6 to 25 euros. And that's what it really is - our dependence on coal - is the main reason for price increases , which are starting to hit our door with impetus.
Climatic strategy urgently wanted.
Recently, I wrote that it is very difficult to define the Polish climate strategy today - on the occasion of the European Commission's plans related to the announcement of climate neutrality in 2050. We would have it on the Old Continent thanks to renewable sources. It is from them that it will come to over 80 percent. electric energy.
And Poland, on the one hand, opens a new coal block in Ostrołęka, offends itself to wind energy and plans again the Polish atom. Writing this evaluation, I was counting in depth that it would change in a moment. Already in a moment everyone will hear more or less precise tactics of Poland for the coming years. Thinking about next generations. Where does this idea come from? After all, this year's COP24 Climate Summit is organized in Poland. Where, if not there, speak out loud about your climate plans?
Gestures differently evaluated.
But after the first day of COP24 I felt that something was not playing. We spoke in the group of Silesian journalists. Opinions were divided. For some, welcoming guests who came to the Climate Summit, which is actually designed to speed up the implementation of the Paris Agreement (hence, inter alia, gradual decarbonisation), the mining orchestra is a very bad joke. And rather a reason for shame, not laughter. Others knock on the head and say that this is not the point. That we want to show our world our tradition, our industrial roots. And the Climate Summit is the best opportunity for this.
Hence, in the exhibition halls, we can see various coal installations. The Polish stand is also the color of "black gold", as if in contrast to the color scheme of the whole world.
From the very beginning of our presentations to the delegation of the UNFCCC Secretariat (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) on the efforts of Katowice as the host of the climate summit, we talked about what characterizes us most, that is transformation from former Silesia, based on heavy industry, to a modern metropolis , a modern region, very green - explains Marcin Stańczyk, who deals with the promotion in the Katowice municipality.
However, it is worth adding that probably from the beginning, coal was to be the focal point of the Polish presentation at COP24, regardless of tradition. It could not have been otherwise, since the partners of the Ministry of the Environment at the organization of the Climate Summit are Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa and Polska Grupa Górnicza. But it does not convince me and many others. Yes, the coal tradition is important. What, however, does not bother to show the whole world a non-carbon view of the future. As far as it's got.
Strategies testify to the lack of strategy.
No, I do not think that the lack of a clear and concrete climate strategy now is the only guilt of those in power. Looking objectively, the imagination was lacking in this respect also many of their predecessors. Only here is not the question whether this faction or that is right. The game is about our lives and the lives of our descendants. I'm exaggerating? Unfortunately, these are the facts. Data of the National Health Fund leave no illusions. It is estimated that 12 percent. all deaths in Poland are those caused by low air quality.
Meanwhile, listening to the words of Polish decision-makers during the Climate Summit, the hair bristles. First, we learned from President Andrzej Duda's mouth that Poland has coal reserves for 200 years and as long as he is the president, our hair will not fall. For me, the context of these words is clear. This is not an Climate Summit. It is Barbórka, and in a moment elections to the European Parliament, then to the Sejm and the Senate. Inventories for 200 years, or, as the scientists suggest, at 35-40 - what's the difference? Only President Duda is not Kaziu from the beer booth. His words are picked up by the largest press agencies and forwarding them to the whole world, while drawing a Polish image. Is the election campaign always worth the risk?
But perhaps even worse than such declarations is a double voice, when the authorities show all and sundry that there is no strategy or even thinking in one direction. And unfortunately, this is also the case in Katowice, during the UN Climate Summit. First, Prime Minister Morawiecki, wishing to slightly temper the moods after such and no other words of President Duda, stated that the Polish dependence on coal is decreasing and will continue to decline. At the same time, the head of the government assured about a turn towards, among others photovoltaics or nuclear energy, which was to be part of this year's Climate Summit. But Beata Szydło, deputy prime minister of the Polish government, says something completely different on the same day in Brzeszcze:
For us, here in Poland, mining and coal is not only an academic discussion at the climate summit, but it is the reality of our economy, our future.
The Polish duo at least shocks.
At a time when the world knows that if you want to save the climate, you have to turn around, among others from coal, when the EC talks about climate neutrality in 2050 - words about defense and attachment to coal must cause at least consternation.
Already at the climax of the climate summit, the Polish Presidency received a yellow card. More and more countries are impatient and even disappointed. While many delegates want to talk here not only about technical issues, but above all about activities in the fight against the climate crisis, the Polish Presidency not only does not join, but even blocks such a discussion - says Robert Cyglicki, Greenpeace program director in Central and Eastern Europe quoted by Focus Europe.
Olive to the fire is added by the former Minister of the Environment, Jan Szyszko, who wants to take care of the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by forestry coal farms.
The Polish commitment to maintaining coal is not a sign that this year's COP president would share this vision - assesses Brian Kahn from the Earther portal.
The report of the IPCC, an international team of scientists operating at the United Nations, clearly shows that in order to stop the climate disaster, we must abandon the combustion of fossil fuels, first of all coal - convinces Paweł Szypulski from Greenpeace Polska in an interview with oko.press .
In turn, the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, when asked about the commentary on the words of the Polish president, stressed that we do not have time for endless negotiations. We need more action and more ambition for it now.
Climate Summit: Poland with the Fossil of the Day.
Fossil Day ( "Fossil of the Day") - is antynagroda the UN Climate Sewing. It hits the hands of those who have much more to shame than pride at the conference. And rather a small surprise was that - especially after the words of President Duda - the first Fossil of the Day went to Poland. This is also our tradition.
After all, we got the Fossil of the Day during COP18, COP19, COP20 and COP23. Mainly for defending coal. This year's Climate Summit only confirmed that absolutely nothing has changed in this respect.
Wake up in Poland, maybe there is still time.
I am most afraid that the discussion about the climate and the future of coal in our country will be thrown into the arena, where there must be a division between them and us. And this is not a political booty - a tasty morsel for both groups joined by an absurd hug. This is the air that each of us breathes; water that we all drink. The weather also treats everyone equally. They and us.
It makes no sense to argue over whether opening the Mining orchestra is a bad idea or a good idea. In fact, it does not matter. Yes, according to some, it puts us in a bad light. But is this the first time?
What is more important is the lack of unambiguous, repeated by all, declarations. Of course, changing the proportion in the Polish energy mix to the easiest one should not be. But on the other hand, it's also no mission impossible . Only courage is needed. Above all, to stand in front of the miners and say that it makes no sense to keep away from the changes. Public opinion seems to be ready. According to the CBOS survey published at the end of November, 72 percent Poles support coal abandonment. Only 19 percent. respondents want to continue to generate energy based on this "black gold" for the next 20-30 years.
What alternative? Lousy.
Let us assume for a moment that nothing changes. Poland is the main guardian of coal, which protects against the whole world. Our country, after receiving the Fossil of the Day during COP26, COP27, COP28 and COP29, received the trophy permanently - like the football Brazil World Cup. Climate Summit in this respect is our specialty, we always try from the position of the favorite.
And what kind of interest is Kowalski, busy with his affairs? I bet dollars against nuts, but I care. For two reasons. First of all, Kowalski does not have any friends who after going outside for a few minutes are not furiously coughing. No matter if they live in the south or north. By the way, Kowalski lost the plant from years ago. Whether the water level in the Baltic will actually rise by 2 meters.
The second reason is more prosaic. This is nothing more than the necessity for Kowalski to reach deeper into the wallet. By paying exorbitant electricity bills, Kowalski will fondly recall the prices from a few years ago. Already after the increases in 2019.
The Climate Summit in Poland is like a vegetarian congress in a slaughterhouse. The coal absurd festival is on