Soon it will be too late, a tragedy awaits us, the apocalypse (...) there is no other way than quitting coal, oil and gas burning, only decarbonization - appeal authorities in the field of environmental protection. Poland not only doesn’t take action to stop climate change, but it also has a completely different point of view. Is Poland going to deny the climate crisis at the December COP24 Climate Summit in Katowice?

On August 9 in Katowice, union headquarters organized a Pre_COP24 conference with Deputy Ministers of Environment and Energy. One of the invited guests was a well-known climate denialist, William Happer, a retired professor from Princeton University. He says that carbon dioxide was "demonized" and humanity did not affect climate change at all. This scandalous claim completely inconsistent with the position of modern science was repeated in Katowice.

Professor Piotr Skubała, from the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection of the University of Silesia, points out that 97% of the scientific work on the climate change agrees that global warming is taking place and is caused by human carbon dioxide emissions. From NASA to the Polish Academy of Sciences, there is no scientific institution that would not agree with it.

We have never been, in the history of mankind, in such a moment and place. We have never faced such a challenge during our stay on this planet - emphasized prof. Skubała during the press briefing of the social organizations.

It leaves no illusions that in order to prevent climate catastrophe, it is necessary to start acting as soon as possible. Recalling the words of the Cardinal Peter Turkson spoken at the Vatican seminar, Professor Skubała emphasizes that warming the climate and raising the seas leads to the threat of human existence.

Professor Skubała warns that the negation of the climate crisis by Poland - a country holding the COP24 presidency, awaits embarrassment. According to the announcement, instead of supporting counteracting progressing climate changes and mitigating their effects, Poland is going to present its own position. This position is completely different from the provisions of the European Union, the Council of Europe and the European Commission, even though Poland has signed the framework convention on climate protection and ratified the Paris Agreement on the climate protection.

Serious concerns over the success of the COP24 climate summit are raised by the opinions promoted at the conference. The main view presented included carbon dioxide emissions balanced by equal absorption. This would be ensured, among others, by so-called forest coal farms. This idea of former minister Jan Szyszko has been repeatedly criticized by many experts as irrational - in order to balance the emissions of Poland, it would be necessary to fill the forests with an area 3.5 times larger than our country. Nevertheless, he is supported by Deputy Minister of Energy Grzegorz Tobiszowski, who announced that the Polish Presidency's goal will be to secure the Polish industry and ensure that every country chooses energy mix at its own discretion.

It is hard not to get the impression that behind the buzzy declaration to defend the right to decide on the choice of energy mix, a defense of the Polish "business as usual" based on coal energy is hidden - comments Diana Maciąga from Association Workshop Association for All Beings. – It is the "business as usual" based on burning fossil fuels that causes global warming. Stopping the average global temperature increase well below 2 ° C requires a deep energy transformation, including closing coal-fired power plants. According to the Climate Analytics report, for OECD countries the deadline should be in 2035, for Poland it may be 2030. Meanwhile, instead of decommissioning power plants, new ones are being built. A scandalous example is the new the Ostrołęka C power plant with a capacity of 1000MW, completely incompatible with climate protection. It is not only a threat to health and the environment, but also to the national energy sector. It is also a blockade for the clean energy development, including thousands of new jobs in the RES sector, and expensive electricity for consumers - concludes Diana Maciąga.

According to the Association, the project is doomed to failure. The real chance for socio-economic development of the region, based on energy efficiency and renewable energy is wasted.

The climate crisis is a fact. As residents of Upper Silesia, we are convinced of this. The scientific community as well. We need radical action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because humans are source of its increase - says Patryk Białas, President of the BoMiasto Association and coordinator of the Network of Climate Speakers. The lecturer at Pre-COP24 is prof. William Happer, who denies climate change. We are afraid that this is an announcement of the direction of Poland's position on the Climate Summit in December. We need a climate and energy policy for the country. Silesia needs a round table on the issue of moving away from coal towards green energy - says Białas.

New investments in renewable energy also mean employment growth - in contrary to what the government communicates. Experts from Bergman Engineering, which specializes in the recruitment of engineers, estimate that the renewable energy sector may need up to 7,000 engineers. The work in the newly created Renewable Energy Sources sector will be found by designers and people for execution works, among others: welders, plumbers, fitters, builders or construction supervision employees.

If there is one top student, when we calculate the average, we cannot talk about the progress in the whole class. We can talk about progress if we raise the development level of the whole class. So the EU should not try to be a top of the class against other countries that are more important in terms of environmental protection, - Tobiszowski said on Pre_COP24.

With climate protection, it is really like learning. Top students, or those who develop innovative technologies, have an easier start in life. However, the school, which instead of helping the weak students to improve, races to the bottom by punishing the best and justifying the students with bad grades - it's a bad school. We do not want Poland to play such a role - sums up Diana Maciąga.

More information:
Patryk Białas, BoMiasto Association, coordinator of the Network of Climate Speakers, Katowice, patrykbialas@gmail.com
Diana Maciąga, Association Workshop for all Beings, dina@pracownia.org.pl

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