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ul. Oswobodzenia 1
Katowice, 40 - 403
+48 32 730 32 20

Are you concerned about the future of our planet and how we can effectively tackle climate change? Are you present in Katowice during the COP24? Join our one-day conference and let’s discuss together how we can find sustainable solutions to save our planet and debunk climate myths!



COP24 in Katowice will be decisive as one of its tasks is to work out and adopt decisions to ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, the Polish government has stated its objective to use the opportunity of the 2018 Climate Summit Poland 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. This sends a fatal message to the broader public as it creates the impression that ever-growing CO2 emissions around the world could be absorbed naturally, which impedes debate and progress towards a zero carbon future. In this context, a clear response to the Polish government’s stance on climate change and mitigation is needed.

About the event

In early 2018, we kicked off our transnational project “Towards COP24 in Poland” to raise awareness about climate issues among the Polish population and EU citizens in general in the run up to the Climate Summit in Katowice. The project highlight will be a one-day event in the second week of COP24 in Katowice organised with the support of all project partners to challenge the current policies by EU member states, share best practices and present sustainable, fair and just approaches that respect the ecological boundaries of our planet while having a good life for all people in mind.


09:30 – 10:00: Opening:

  • Lucile Schmid, Green European Foundation
  • Irene Hahn-Fuhr, Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw
  • Małgorzata Tracz, Polish Green Party

10:00 – 10:30: Introduction:

  • Bas Eickhout and Rebecca Harms, Members of the European Parliament, The Greens / EFA
  • Video by GGEP on coal transition

10:30 – 12:00: Panel 1: Towards the Just Transition of Mining Regions

(in collaboration with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Warsaw office and the Congress of  Urban Movements Katowice)

Not only in Poland, but also in certain regions of many other European countries, coal and lignite mining is an important part of identity, culture and economy. However, for economic and ecological reasons, coal regions and communities will have to face  a transition  in the coming decade(s) to phase progressively out of coal. Therefore, they need to deeply restructure their economy and find new perspectives for their citizens.

What are the economic and social challenges in the process of ecological modernisation in these regions? Could the possible paths and strategies in this process be useful in different coal regions? How to include different actors in creating common vision of future and building concrete development strategies? What are the ways to address the issues of a changing job market, the need to build a new competitive economy and create a new cultural identity? To what extent could renewable energy become an answer to these questions? Those and other questions will be addressed during the panel discussion.


  • Kazimierz Karolczak, Chairman of the Board, Upper Silesia & Zagłębie Metropolis, Poland
  • Jean-Francois Caron / Julian Perdrigeat, Loos-en-Gohelle, France
  • Annalena Baerbock, Chairwoman of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Germany
  • Miłka Stępień, urban activist, Polish Green Party, Konin, Poland


  • Patryk Białas, Director of Innovation and Competence Centre in  EURO-CENTRUM Science and Technology Park and President of BoMiasto Association, Katowice

12:00 – 13:30 Panel 2: Potential Green Jobs as a Result of Green Transition 

(in conjunction with the project partners of GEF’s transnational project Strengthening Climate Targets, Creating Local Climate Jobs)

UK-based think tank Green House has conducted a transnational project on the potential of new green jobs as a result of green transition.

The method tested in 2017 on one region of the UK is this time applied to the entirety of the UK, but also to Hungary and Ireland. The results will also be presented to the Polish public.

Green House developed climate job metrics by applying the method to sub-regional areas to make the case for the investment needs and job potential of sufficient action on a green transition.

Professor Jan Popczyk from the Polytechnics School of Gliwice, Silesia, will be invited to comment on the results presented, with the hope of building a scientific partnership to apply the same metrics to Poland in 2019.


  • Peter Sims, Green House Think Tank, UK
  • Anja Siegesmund, Minister of Environment, Energy and Nature Protection of Thuringia, Gemany (tbc)
  • Rebecca Harms, MEP The Green/EFA (tbc)


  • Thomas Simpson, Green Foundation, Ireland
  • Professor Jan Popczyk, Polytechnics School of Gliwice, Poland / Dr Ludomir Duda, expert of energy efficient building (tbc)


  • Johnathan Essex, Green House Think Tank, UK

13:30 – 14:30: Lunch Break 

14:30 – 16:00 Panel 3: Zero Net Emissions – Can CO2  Removals do the Job?

This panel of experts and political activists will challenge the “zero net emissions” goal, that proposes removing enough CO2 from the atmosphere will accomplish the Paris Agreement objective of limiting a temperature rise of 2°C, without the phasing out of fossil fuels.

We will challenge technological solutions, like CCS, and environmental solutions: evolutions in land use and climate friendly forest management in particular.

Scientific evidence, results of experiments in application of various solutions based on carbon sinks, as well as the scientific validity of methods used for the assessment of the amount of atmospheric CO2 removed, will be the main focus of this debate.


  • Olivier De Schutter, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food (tbc)
  • Michal Wilczynski, Poland’s former National Chief Geologist, energy expert
  • Pierre Athanaze, forest naturalist (tbc)
  • Representative of IPCC (tbc)


  • Ewa Sufin-Jacquemart, FSZ
  • Miriam Kennet, GEI

16:00 – 17:30 Panel 4: Why Nuclear Energy is a False Solution for a Climate-Oriented Energy Transition

Poland is currently deciding on whether to build its first nuclear power station. Public opinion is divided, and yet research into the locations, technologies, partners and investors for the station continue.

During this panel, we will tap into the public debate and discuss if nuclear energy really is the answer to the decarbonisation challenge, or are there more sustainable solutions.


  • Yannick Jadot or Michele Rivasi, MEPs, Greens/EFA group in EP
  • Yves Marignac, Director of Wise-Paris think tank
  • Marie Toussaint, Notre Affaire à Tous association, EELV
  • Charline Dufournet, Director of the European Scenario for the NégaWatt Initiative


  • Benoit Monange, Fondation de l’Ecologie Politique, France

17:30 – 18:00 Closing: Final remarks from the Green European Foundation and the Greens/EFA Group in the EP.

18:00 – 19:00 Buffet

19:00 Film Screening: film tbc 

Simultaneous interpretation in Polish and English will be provided.

To register your interest in the conference, please email our project coordinator on carlotta.weber@gef.eu 

Stay tuned for more updates on the programme and speakers on this event page, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

ul. Oswobodzenia 1
Katowice, 40 - 403

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