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UN COP24 climate summit ‘historic success’: Polish official

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 17.12.2018 09:00
The United Nations' COP24 climate change conference hosted by Poland has proved a “historic success,” an official who presided over the summit has said.
Photo: PAP/Marek ZimnyPhoto: PAP/Marek Zimny

Michał Kurtyka was speaking after negotiators at the international conference in the southern Polish city of Katowice late on Saturday adopted a final declaration after almost two weeks of debate.

“I hope Katowice will become a historic place for global climate policy, in the same way as Kyoto and Paris,” Kurtyka, who is Poland’s deputy environment minister, said, as quoted by the PAP news agency.

Kurtyka told reporters the agreement was adopted unanimously by delegates from almost 200 countries taking part in the environmental conference.

"So it's a success for all humanity," Kurtyka said after the event closed in the early hours of Sunday.

Poland’s Environment Minister Henryk Kowalczyk told public broadcaster TVP Info on Sunday evening that the unanimous adoption of the agreement, known as the Katowice Rulebook, was a “huge success and a step to protect the climate."

‘Discreet diplomacy’

Kurtyka told reporters that the last 48 hours of negotiations at the summit were “extremely complicated.”

Poland's President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki both took to Twitter on Saturday to hail the agreement adopted by all UN member states.

A senior presidential aide, Krzysztof Szczerski, tweeted that the successful conclusion of the conference was “the success of everyone involved in COP24 in Katowice.”

He also said that the agreement hung in the balance until the very end and that “the discreet diplomacy” of the Polish head of state played a role, warranting “satisfaction from being effective in the international arena.”

Roadmap for slowing climate change

The United Nations’ COP24 event was originally scheduled to end on Friday. It was extended to Saturday to enable delegates to finish work on their key declaration.

Thousands of decision makers from around the world flocked to Katowice for the UN conference, which opened at the start of last week.

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as COP24, aimed to adopt a roadmap for putting into practice the 2015 Paris agreement amid efforts to slow climate change.

Speaking at the official opening of the summit on December 3, Poland's President Andrzej Duda said his country was "ready to take its share of responsibility for international security," including in terms of climate policy.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told international leaders a day later that his country was among nations leading the way in efforts to stop global warming.

Leaders from 45 countries gathered at the UN conference adopted a Polish-drafted declaration to protect the climate while ensuring economic growth and maintaining jobs.

A total of 65 countries on Wednesday supported the Polish-drafted “Forests for Climate” initiative, which aims to increase the role of forests in combating climate change.

Katowice Mayor Marcin Krupa told public broadcaster Polish Radio on Friday that the conference had drawn around 21,500 participants, according to host city data.

The next UN climate change conference, COP25, will be held in September next year in Chile.


Source: PAP/IAR

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