Poland takes over COP24 presidency

Poland's Deputy Environment Minister Michał Kurtyka officially took over the presidency of the COP24 climate summit in Katowice, south Poland, at the conference's first plenary session on Sunday.

As COP president, Kurtyka replaces Fijijan PM Frank Bainimarama, who chaired the previous COP23 meeting.

In his address as conference president, Kurtyka said the summit's main talks were scheduled for the conference's first week. He also announced its continuation of the so-called Talanoa Dialogue Platform employing inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue for climate policy goals.

Kurtyka observed that the COP24 meeting had to show "creativity and flexibility" to provide awaited solutions, and announced the attendance at the conference of high-ranking state officials and organisation representatives, including Polish President Andrzej Duda, who is to open the meeting, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

"In the coming two weeks we will have to display creativity and flexibility to use the time we have wisely and come up with the solutions we are all aiming for," Kurtyka said.

Presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski told PAP that the COP24 event will be attended by 29 state presidents and monarchs, seven foreign ministers and 82 environmental ministers.

UN General Assembly head Maria Fernanda Espinosa said the summit's organisation in Poland for the third time was no coincidence, and showed the degree of Poland's involvement in climate issues.

COP24, the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN convention on climate change, is being held in Katowice from December 2 to 14. Attending the event are almost 30,000 delegates from all over the world, including heads of government and ministers responsible for environmental and climate issues. The summit's main objective is the passage of legislation implementing the Paris Agreement.

Poland has already organised two COPs, in 2008 in Poznań (western Poland) and 2013 in Warsaw.