Conference on climate and industry transformation held in Warsaw

Conference on climate and industry transformation held in Warsaw. Jakub Kamiński/PAP

A conference entitled People and Climate – Solidarity and Just Transition, a follow up to last December's UN climate summit hosted by the southern Polish city of Katowice, was held at Warsaw's Hilton Hotel on Wednesday.

Opening the Warsaw event, Polish president Andrzej Duda said that the Katowice summit ended with adopting a so-called "rule book" mapping out the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on greenhouse emission mitigation.

Last year's Katowice summit also adopted the Silesian Declaration on Just Transition, drafted by the Polish government, dedicated to ensuring a fair and solidarity-based transformation that will help to protect the climate while maintaining economic development and jobs.

Duda said that the document was supported by 56 states so far but he believes that the list of its signatories will increase.

In the president's opinion, the recent heatwave on the old continent shows that global warming is a serious contemporary challenge. He added, however, that combating adverse climate change "cannot exclude any society and must take into account the specificity of individual countries."

Duda believes that striving for climate neutrality should be understood as balancing CO2 emissions with its absorption, not "decarbonisation at all costs".

Among the tools for combating climate change the president mentioned the development of energy sources, which, on the one hand, will guarantee energy security, and on the other hand will minimise the negative effects of climate change. According to him, hydropower could serve both ends, being a stable and continuous supply of electricity, at the same time improving water retention.

During an EU summit in mid-June, provisions in the conclusions concerning a move to EU-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 were blocked by Poland and some other Central and Eastern European member states. Poland opposed an EU bid due to a lack of calculations of the costs related to the new goal.