COP24 United Nations Climate Change Conference
3 - 14 December 2018
COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The UNFCCC is a “Rio Convention”, one of three adopted at the “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention. Preventing “dangerous” human interference with the climate system is the ultimate aim of the UNFCCC.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the UNFCCC Convention. It consists of the representatives of the Parties to the Convention. It holds its sessions every year. The COP takes decisions which are necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of the Convention and regularly reviews the implementation of these provisions.
In accordance with a decision of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention (COP22) in Marrakesh in November 2016, the successive climate summit will be held in Poland. Poland was selected to host this event within the framework of the Eastern European Group (EEG).
Poland will hold the Presidency of the Climate Convention for the third time.
One of the most important tasks of the 24th Session of the of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) will be to work out and adopt a package of decisions ensuring the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, in accordance with the decisions adopted in Paris (COP21) and in Marrakesh (CMA1.1). Moreover, COP24 will include the so-called Facilitative Dialogue intended to support the implementation of national commitments.
In the course of the 2018 Climate Summit Poland would like to demonstrate how neutrality in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. a balance between CO2 emissions and its sequestration by soils and forests, can be attained.
The Polish presidency plans to focus its message on three key themes:
- Technology – development of climate-friendly modern solutions, such as electromobility;
- Man – solidary and just transition of industrial regions;
- Nature – achieving climate neutrality by absorbing CO2 by forests and land, or by water management.
Polish government, as a part of the implementation of the Responsible Development Strategy, has developed a series of regulations aiming popularizing low- and zero-emission vehicles. The Package for Clean Transport includes such documents as the Plan for the Development of Electromobility in Poland, the National Framework for the Development Policy of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure and the Act on Electromobility and Alternative Fuels. Due to a number of initiatives listed in the Package, it was also decided to prepare a financial instrument that would support the implementation of the measures provided for in these documents. It is the Low-Carbon Transport Fund, which by 2027 will manage PLN 6.7 billion.
On June 7, 2018 the Polish government launched “Clean Air” program. The main goal of the program is to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and to significantly reduce the emissions of atmospheric pollutants. The implementation will take ten years and its total budget will be PLN 103 billion.
Polish government is trying to create favorable conditions for the construction of a profitable, effective and modern hard coal mining sector, based on cooperation, knowledge and innovation. Pure, innovative coal technologies such as coal gasification are tested in Silesia. Śląskie Voivodship was also included in the EU initiative addressed to the coal regions in the transformation period (Coal Regions in Transition). Among the projects submitted by Poland, there are plans to create a pumped storage power plant in the liquidated Krupiński mine in Suszec or a project for hydrogen cells prepared by Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa.
The forest coverage of Poland is systematically increasing. From 1995 to 2014, the area of forests increased by 504 thousand hectares. This includes great merit of the State Forests supervised by the Ministry of the Environment. Forests make up almost a third part of the territory of Poland. Scientific researches show that by planting specific tree species, we can increase the ability of forests to absorb CO2. During COP24 Poland wants to present other countries the technique of absorbing CO2 by soil and forests (“Forest Coal Farms” project).
Key Messages of the Polish Presidency
During COP24, the Polish Presidency plans to focus its attention on three key topics:
- technology – to show that there are climate-friendly modern solutions, such as electromobility allowing for sustainable urban development, clean air and an opportunity for modern jobs,
- human – emphasizing the need to lead change together with people through the solidarity and fair transformation of regions and industrial sectors,
- nature – including multifunctional and sustainable forest management as part of climate neutrality and the role of forests as greenhouse gas sinks, and support for a synergic view of the three UN key conventions: on climate, on biodiversity and on desertification.
EIT RawMaterials will participate on 10 December in the Mining Industry and Just Transition session.