TOGETAIR 2021 – EURACTIV.com


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New statements, important decisions and strong emotions during the debates!

DAY 1: The Minister of Climate opens the Climate Summit

The summit was opened by the Minister of Climate and Environment, Michał Kurtyka, stressing the huge progress recently made by Poland in terms of ecological challenges:

“We have taken a leap forward in how we want to complete the energy transition.”

The minister’s opening speech was followed by the official presentation of the first TOGETAIR multimedia climate report. “This is the first climate report available to the general public. It is full of studies, descriptions, trends, assessments and directions for the years to come in the context of a changing climate ”, commented Agata Åšmieja, President of the Clean Air Foundation and initiator of the TOGETAIR Climate Summit

The climate report reached 100,000 viewers within 24 hours of publication. He is available online at https://raport.togetair.eu/, free of charge and without registration. The English version is ready and will soon be supplemented by French and German versions.

“Besides educating the Poles and developing the best solutions on the road to climate neutrality in a rational and economically justified way for Poland, it is very important to let our European partners know that the Poles are working together on ecological solutions and have the ambition to become the leader of ecological transformation in Europe, added Artur Beck, producer and organizer of the TOGATAIR Climate Summit, president of the Positive Ideas Foundation

During DAY 1 of the Summit, CTL Logistics and PKP Energetyka signed a letter of intent regarding the “Green Railway” program. The goal of this collaboration is the transition of CTL Logistics to green energy. According to the chairman of PKP Energetyka, Wojciech Orzech, by 2030 it will be possible to supply 85% of Polish trains with renewable sources.

From April 21 to 23, the public was able to follow debates and thematic panels devoted to ecological issues and concerns in Poland.

The first discussion was attended by the Minister of Climate, Michał Kurtyka, who presented his assumptions of the energy policy of Poland and its future energy mix.

Adam Czyżewski – of PKN Orlen – said the energy transition will require a change in consumer behavior.

The following panel brought together experts in e-mobility. Representatives of the auto market, central government and regulators discussed how to tackle the biggest obstacles to the development of electric cars, namely the high price and still relatively poor infrastructure.

Clean Air Program ” was the main subject of the third debate. Panelists underlined the need for greater EU support to step up the fight against smog. They also addressed the issue of “fuel poverty and exclusion” of people who do not have access to assistance programs.

Finally, Tomasz Urynowicz, Deputy Marshal of the Małopolska region, underlined the support offered by the local government to companies at all stages of the value chain.

TOGETAIR 2021 brought something new: EKO-RING, a heated confrontation between Jan Śpiewak, an activist from the city, and Konrad Płochocki, a representative of the Association of Real Estate Developers. The theme was the fight against the so-called “betonoza” (Polish equivalent of a concrete jungle), but also new initiatives to improve the image of the residential investment market.

The summit continued with very important topics – the border carbon tax, green energy in the context of housing and water management.

DAY 2: Earth Day

10 defined green TOGETAIR objectives

The TOGETAIR expert committee bringing together specialists representing companies, environmental protection organizations and state authorities formulated 10 green objectives for TOGETAIR. It is a set of actions to be taken by Poland to be ready to tackle environmental challenges, both in the context of the climate crisis and the policies pursued by the EU.

On Thursday, the debates focused on the just transition in the context of the future of the Polish energy and mining sectors. Speakers cited an excellent example of a gradual transition being made at the Adamów lignite mine in Turek district, where former fossil fuel workers have been recycled for green energy jobs. Wojciech Dąbrowski, Chairman of the Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, highlighted the construction of wind farms on the Baltic Sea as a possible driver of the Polish economy.

Maciej Matelski – Director of the competence office for the passenger car market PKO Bank Polski (PKO Leasing), cited the price and limited access to charging stations as the main obstacles preventing consumers from switching to electric cars.

The next panel focused on the fuel of the future – hydrogen. Jacek Jaworski, representing the Oil and Gas Institute, said: “The gas industry will have to deal with hydrogen, whatever its origins. (…) Poland has the potential to be at the forefront of the hydrogen market. By 2030, we will probably be able to use hydrogen on an industrial scale. “

Later in the day, experts focused on green transport. Representatives of the automotive industry were joined on stage by Tomasz Gontarz of PKP Intercity who spoke of rail as the most environmentally friendly form of transport.

The following panel addressed the issue of zero-emission energy systems, especially in the context of offshore investments, which raised optimism among experts.

In accordance with Zbigniew Gryglas of the Ministry of State Property “We are going to generate more gigawatts of wind power than we announced in PEP 2040 and we are now sure of that.”

The fifth debate of the day was devoted to the transformation of the heat of the system into geothermal energy and biomass. The chief national geologist indicated the need for synergy of activities: “Combining multiple energy sources – geothermal, biogas, photovoltaics – can produce a much better result than using just one source. We will carry out such projects. “

The final panel focused on the plastic and the deposition system. The discussion summarized the existing solutions and projects available on the market, indicating the trends and possible directions of development. Our guest from Sweden, Anna Larsson, Director of the Reloop platform, wanted Poland to work on solutions for the future. “The fact of grouping all the single-use packaging under the deposit system makes it possible to obtain 590,000 tonnes of raw materials to be recycled.”

DAY 3: Climate change must be socially fair”Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said as he opened the third day of the TOGETAIR climate summit.

In his opening speech, the Prime Minister referred to the perspective frequently adopted by experts when examining Poland’s energy transition: “There are large sections of society that cannot afford the cost of the energy transition. The cost must be distributed appropriately, that is, all segments of society must have a prospect of change. (…) Climate change must be socially fair. “

Family and Social Policy Minister Marlena Maląg underlined the role of the family in the whole process: “We need to come together to form a broad coalition for families and the environment.

Earlier, at a press breakfast, Konrad PÅ‚ochocki of the Polish Developer Association admitted that “samochodoza” (too much traffic) and “betonoza” (concrete jungle) were a mistake. He proposed a new industry initiative – breaking the Guinness World Record for building the world’s largest insect house.

Friday’s first discussion was attended by Climate and Environment Minister Michal Kurtyka. “We are able to significantly improve the trade balance by switching from fossil fuels to electric cars or photovoltaic panels (even if these are short-term capital investments)”.

The following panel focused on Polish agriculture and its ecological development. Speakers underscored the enormous growth potential of agriculture and the need for effective and functional development incentives, including assistance programs.

The third debate focused on the ESG system and green bonds

“Sustainability and climate neutrality have become one of the most important economic goals across the European Union, clearly defined over time. (…) In this regard, we are observing a growing number of green programs or so-called green financial instruments emerging on the market, promoting pro-ecological investments or being exclusively dedicated to them. They are fully in line with the values ​​of BOÅš – Bank for the Protection of the Environment, specialized since its creation in the financing of eco-responsible investments ”, said Wojciech Hann, CEO of Bank Ochrony Åšrodowiska

The following discussion was devoted to electronic services from the point of view of the state and local authorities as well as the private market. Panelists agreed that the pandemic has accelerated digitization. Consumers, constrained by circumstances, finally accepted this form of contact as institutions managed to overcome their previous inertia.

The future of housing was mentioned several times throughout the Climate Summit. This time, however, the panelists focused on the idea of ​​sustainable urban planning in the context of sustainable development.

Speakers referred to the positive example of Lublin, Gdansk and Krakow where the circular economy has been included in their development strategy by 2030.

One of the most exciting discussions of the entire event was the recent increased garbage costs. Panelists focused on balancing recent reforms to waste legislation and legislative changes that will reshape this market in the years to come. They also called for legislation to be passed as soon as possible to ensure higher subsidies for waste management.

Friday April 23 was the last day of the TOGETAIR 2021 Climate Summit – a big event, broadcast live to millions of users across the country.

“The TOGETAIR Climate Summit brought together exceptional experts to share their knowledge, experience and inspire valuable change. We are proud to have created a space for such an exchange of ideas and knowledge. Let me remind you that you can watch a recorded program of the Summit all year round ”- commented Agata Śmieja, President of the Clean Air Foundation and initiator of the whole event.

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