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WiseEuropa at COP24 in Katowice

As the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) took place between the 3rd and 14th of December 2018 in Katowice, WiseEuropa team represented by Maciej Bukowski, Aleksander Śniegocki and Zofia Wetmańska, actively engaged in the knowledge exchange with national and international partners during panel discussions at the COP24 side-events.

Below you can find highlights, most important remarks as well as references to the projects currently being implemented by WiseEuropa.

03.12.2018 – Just Transition for All: Solid Research Evidence and Implementation Pathways | Polish Pavilion

Foto: COP24

During the session “Analytical Evidence for just Transition” referring to the findings published in WiseEuropa’s recent report “From restructuring to sustainable development. The case of Upper Silesia” Maciej Bukowski, the President of WiseEuropa, highlighted that systemic policy measures are needed to secure the sustainable development of the Silesian region. He emphasised that these should go beyond sectoral policies focused on coal-based industries. In line with the recommendations from the report, Maciej suggested that the policy mix should combine: responsible restructuring of the traditional core of the local economy, guided by the understanding of the inevitable decline of hard coal mining, to focus on the outward-oriented diversification of the local manufacturing base and transition towards the low-emission solutions in all the key sectors (energy, buildings, transport, industry), which will both improve the quality of life in the region and provide demand pull supporting development of new competitive advantages in the region.

03.12.2018 – The Role of Finance in Re-Inventing Coal and Carbon Intensive regions | European Pavilion

Foto: Alice Pauthier

The session featured EIT Climate-KIC, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Commission (EU Climate Action) and WiseEuropa. Beside reinforcing the message that the low-carbon transition implies a substantial reduction in global coal demand, which will be further accelerated by the widespread coal phase-out that has been already announced by several EU Member States, Maciej Bukowski outlined the socio-economic implications of the transition and indicated the over-arching role of the financial sector in driving the needed, required systemic changes.

05.12.2018 – Cooperation with non-governmental organizations in mainstreaming circularity | Polish Pavilion

Foto: MPiT

During the discussion focused on the opportunities for the engagement of NGOs and their role in the implementation of Circular Economy in Poland, Zofia Wetmańska pointed out that think tanks provide the necessary knowledge base needed to efficiently exploit the synergies between the transition to a circular economy and meeting the net-zero climate targets. Within actions carried out by WiseEuropa that address the topic of Circular Economy Zofia Wetmanska mentioned that the Institute is currently a partner of the Climate Friendly Materials Platform and together with European partners, with the support of the European Climate Initiative, implements project that allows for the engagement of Polish partners in the international debate about future regulations and financial support for the decarbonisation of the basic materials industry. Moreover, experts at WiseEuropa are currently working on a new report, which identifies solutions for the shortcomings of the current Polish climate policy as well as outlines global trends, such as circular economy, that it should consider. Moreover circular economy will be one of the topics of meeting co-organised by WiseEuropa in 2019 within the framework of the EUKI project: Climate Recon 2050, as the achievement of net-zero economy by 2050 is conditional, among others, on the integration of the long-term climate policy with the principles of the circular economy.

07.13.2018 Toolkit for low carbon smart transition and industrial diversification in Silesia | Central Mining Institute

Foto: Aleksander Śniegocki

The workshop was organised within the Climate-KIC Reindustrialise Flagship Programme focused on supporting the transition of high-emitting regions to low-carbon innovation hotspots. WiseEuropa is leading one of the Flagship’s first Pathfinder project. Together with Climate Strategies and Central Mining Institute, it is exploring potential for supporting smart diversification of the Silesian industrial base. During his talk Aleksander Śniegocki, who coordinates the project,  presented first results – a concept of the methodology for identifying promising diversification opportunities for the region, based on the existing statistical data on its strengths and weaknesses in different technological and economical areas. The presentation of the concept and an example of its application was followed by the discussion regarding the potential for its uptake by the institutions supporting regional development in Silesia and other coal intensive regions.

10.12.2018 From domestic climate finance tracking to climate capital investment plans: what’s next in France, Europe and worldwide? | French Pavilion

 During the event which featured representatives from the French Ministry of Environment, I4CE, IKEM, 2050 Pathways Project and WiseEuropa, the panellists discussed the existing and emerging practices on tracking climate investment and finance. Maciej Bukowski has reported the initial insights from the project led by WiseEuropa with the support of European Climate Initiative and implemented together with NewClimate Institute and I4CE “Landscape of Climate Finance: Promoting debate on climate finance flows in Central Europe”. He has emphasised the importance of implementation of the Landscape methodology in Poland by highlighting the examples of the decisions which require systemic review of financial flows towards low-emission solutions, i.e. investments in the energy sector and thermal renovation of buildings as well as efficient management of the European funds after 2020.

10.12.2018 Think Nordic | Nordic Pavilion

Foto: The Nordic Council

Maciej Bukowski, together with Connie Hedegaard, a former European Commissioner for climate action and Danish Minister for the environment as well as Johan Rockström, professor at and former executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University focused on answering the question of how Nordic green solutions can be transferred to other countries. The discussion revolved around the recently published Nordic Green to Scale report and addressed the challenges associated with the transition into sustainable societies. Maciej Bukowski emphasised that Poland can learn from the Nordic states how to design and implement reforms – Nordic brand is well perceived by Polish citizens and thus this attitude should be leveraged also in the realm of environmental protection, including the aspects related not only to the climate policy, but also to the resource efficiency. He mentioned Denmark as an example for Poland of how to facilitate the low-emission transition in an effective and efficient manner– given that the country has transformed its energy system twice in a relatively short period of time, firstly from oil to coal and then from coal to wind power, whilst at the same time promoting the energy efficiency and investing in CHP. Sweden was highlighted as an example of how the public sector should implement and manage modernisation and restructuring process, whereas Finland was identified as a country that actively fosters its innovative potential. The discussion was recorded and will soon be available as a first episode of the Podcast series called “Think Nordic”.

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