Polish Briefing 10 December, 2018 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: A just energy transition at COP24

What goes on in Poland on the 10th of December.

A just energy transition at COP24

Debates on the future of energy in Poland and the place of this sector in the world struggling with climate change were dominated by the first week of the COP 24 Climate Summit in Katowice. Poland presented two declarations: on just transformation and, in cooperation with the United Kingdom, on the development of electromobility. However, the most attention was paid to the comments of Polish politicians regarding the future of coal. Inconsistent messages have been made on the international forum. Substantive discussions take place at the Polish Pavilion imitating the forest. In addition to the potential of wooden houses, the progress of work on electromobility and the scent of a pine forest, one was lacking – coal. This one was one of the main topics of lively substantive discussions.

A just energy transformation

On the second day of the Summit, Poland presented the declaration of Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration adopted by 45 countries. The content of the declaration shows the implementation of objectives related to climate protection while maintaining economic development and jobs, in the spirit of the “Solidarity” heritage.

The authors of the text emphasize that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and our common concern. Signatories of the Paris Agreement recognize the need to take effective action based on the best available scientific knowledge in response to the “urgent threat” of climate change. The document emphasizes that combating climate change requires, among others, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, creation of “climate-resilient economies and societies”, which in turn is to ensure sustainable growth while maintaining a “just transformation of the workforce” ensuring decent work and high quality jobs.

However, it was emphasized that the success of actions in the fight against climate change can be achieved with social acceptance, and this can be achieved by ensuring social security for employees whose workplaces can be liquidated and the workplace itself after restructuring.

On the same day, in the Polish Pavilion, the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE) invited experts who showed examples of successful and unsuccessful energy transformation around the world. Experts invited by PKEE stressed that it would not be possible to carry out a successful energy transformation, in other words, where fossil fuels become less important, without adversely affecting the quality of life of the inhabitants of a given country or region and without coordinated, preferably by the government, plan to move away from coal. They emphasized that this should not only be a plan to move away from fossil fuel extraction, but also to implement a strategy of just transformation. It’s about changing the way energy is generated, at the lowest possible social cost.