INTERNATIONAL PANEL: EUROPEAN ZERO EMISSIONS ECONOMY – INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE SUMMIT TOGETAIR 2022 (DAY 2)
Just transformation requires many new technologies, new supply chains and new ways of doing business. Is a zero-emission programme realistic or risky? How can Europe achieve zero emissions and CO2 reductions? These questions were answered by the participants of the second international panel at the TOGETAIR Climate Summit 2022.
The guest speakers were:
- Christian Stenberg, Deputy Permanent Secretary, EU and int. climate and energy at the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities
- Anamaria Stroia-Tilley, Manager Sustainability Consulting, Deloitte Romania
- Judita Liukaitytė-Kukienė, Head of Climate Policy Group, Ministry of Environment of Lithuania
- Michal Kiča, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment in Slovakia
- Grzegorz Słomkowski, Member of the Management Board, PAIH SA
- Jacek Bogusławski, Deputy Marshal of Wielkopolska Voivodeship
- Dominika Bettman, General Manager of Microsoft in Poland
- Adam Czyżewski, Chief Economist of PKN ORLEN
- Yvon Slingenberg, Director, DG Climate Action
MODERATOR: Dominika Tarczyńska, POLSAT NEWS
ENERGY IN THE TIME OF CRISIS - EUROPEAN ZERO EMISSIONS ECONOMY
The first guest speaker was Judita Liukaitytė-Kukienė from the Ministry of Environment in Lithuania. In her speech, she discussed the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Lithuania’s energy policy:
- From 1 April 2022 we have officially declared that we will no longer import Russian gas and we are going more into the renewables. In this moment we have around 20% of renewable sources in the energy mix but we are growing and cooperating with the government to increase the renewable energy share in the energy mix.
Next spoke, Yvon Slingenberg, Director in DG Climate Action. In her statement she emphasised the need of fast-paced transition to zero-emission economy, in order not to rely on oil and gas from Russia.
- We need to look at the diversification of energy sources, but even more importantly align these activities with mid- to long-term agenda for Europe and each member state to become climate neutral. I think the whole notion of energy independence has become more concrete for people. Having our own renewables within Europe will help that energy independence and will make us much more autonomous, and that means we are now looking at how to do this. We will be working together and hence it’s very important that you have this discussion today in order to see what it means for Poland and other member states, this situation that we are having now in Ukraine, to assemble our forces and to accelerate the transition in the right direction.
Christian Stenberg from the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy followed with his statement. He compared the situation in Poland to the situation in Denmark a few decades ago. In the 1990s, Denmark was dependent on coal, and today 75-80% of its energy comes from renewable sources.
- In Denmark we used not only large quantities of coal but also natural gas and oil. We decided to move away from consumption of those and the objective is to phase out the production of oil and gas completely by 2050. We know that Poland has a strong coal sector, but we are convinced that it is possible. –
He identified public support for change and the need for economic growth in order to maintain a green course in the economy as necessary factors for the transition.
THE PERSPECTIVE OF WIELKOPOLSKA
After these international speakers, Jacek Bogusławski, Deputy Marshal of Wielkopolska Voivodeship took the floor. He identified the need for alternative employment in mining (Konin and surroundings) as a problem for his region, but pointed out:
- We are implementing the Wielkopolska Wschodnia 2040 climate neutrality strategy. We want to be a climate-neutral region by 2040. This is made possible by the funds for a just transition, which come from a new EU perspective negotiated by, among others, Marshal Marek Woźniak. We have earmarked EUR 387 million for this transition.
THE BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE
Anamaria Stroia-Tilley, Manager Sustainability Consulting Deloitte Romania, represented the business perspective. In her speech, she noted that the Romanian economy was increasingly interested in decarbonisation. The main efforts in this area are in the power, cement and steel industries, as well as agriculture and construction.
- Research and development come to mind first. Also, cooperation at international level which has already been mentioned. Any form of cooperation across national borders is crucial. However, action at company or local level is not enough. Businesses also need funding and support from the state and the EU level, otherwise decarbonisation will not happen.
Dominika Bettman, General Manager of Microsoft in Poland stated that she believes the digital economy is the backbone of all efforts to achieve low carbon and climate neutrality:
- Data is the gold of the modern economy (. . .) It is a matter of continuously collecting and analysing data, subjecting them to different analytical models in order to make informed decisions on the basis of which the efforts made by all sectors of industry can be minimised. And here comes the digital economy with a whole arsenal of tools.
Then Adam Czyżewski, Chief Economist of PKN ORLEN, took the floor. In his view, in order to achieve zero-emissions, there is a need to rethink transport ownership and consumption:
- Today we think that the green future is the switch to electric cars. According to all the calculations I know –for the future to be green, consumption must also be green – and for consumption to be green, each of us must have net zero emissions. If one of us has a private car, no matter what the propulsion is, it will never be zero-emissions. –
He also stressed the importance of CO2 absorption technology.
This was followed by Grzegorz Słomkowski, Member of the Management Board of PAIH SA. He spoke about the current crisis and the prospects for transformation:
- I think this whole situation with regard to Ukraine has shown us that we need to build energy independence at European level. We need to look for energy sources that are independent in this mix. (. . .) We’re just a small part of the big global picture, because as one of McKinsey’s big consulting firms said, the world will have to spend 275 trillion dollars on the entire transformation in 30 years. These are huge sums, unimaginable, and, of course, this effort must be greater at the beginning.
At the end of the panel, a video by Michal Kiča from the Ministry of Environment in Slovakia was shown. In his speech, he stressed that Slovakia had achieved its targets for 2022. It also calls for the objectives of the “Fit for 55” package to be maintained:
- As the European Union has set itself the objective of becoming a carbon-neutral continent by 2050, we need to agree and find a common language on legislation and climate change commitments. We must therefore complete the implementation of the “Fit for 55” package and implement its measures and regulations.
STATE OF RAILWAY IN EUROPE
On 21 April in the debate on “GREEN RAILWAY RENAISSANCE. IS TRANSPORT COMING DOWN TO EARTH?” Dorien Rookmaker, member of the Committee on TRAN, European Parliament, participated online. She did a presentation with data on the state of the railways in Europe and the proposed development plans:
- Good connections stimulate economic growth. Europe’s rail sector employs 1.6 million people and generates EUR 66 billion in value added. This contribution is higher than in air and sea transport.
She states that in her mind there is no doubt that rail transport is the best, however:
- Passengers must be able to move quickly, and they must be guaranteed that: we should develop high-speed trains, especially in Eastern Europe, where there are no such connections.
INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE SUMMIT TOGETAIR 2022
The Climate Summit took place between 20 and 22 April in the Library of the University of Warsaw (BUW), Dobra 56/66 in Warsaw and in an online space accessible to everyone in Poland and Europe.
The event, organised in a hybrid format and broadcasted by a TV studio, can be watched free of charge and without registration on the main pages of the leading Polish Internet portals https://togetair.eu/partnerzy as well as on the Polish and Belgian platforms Linkedin and Twitter, so that our voice is heard in Europe.
In 2022, the event was extended on the international level, intensifying cooperation between Poland and the countries of the Three-seas region and the European Union. Each day of the Summit begins with a panel in English on Global and European issues.
The organisers of the International Climate Summit have also invited representatives of ministries, local governments in the rank of marshals, representatives of state-owned companies, NGOs, multinational corporations and small companies committed to climate protection. TOGETAIR received the patronage of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.
You can watch the interview with the Minister of Climate and Environment in Poland, Anna Moskwa for Politico.com: TOGETAIR 2022: Anna Moskwa, Minister of Climate and Environment in an interview for Politico
Last year edition was broadcasted by Brussels’ Euractiv.com – covering European policy and a more in-depth analysis of EU policies, including energy and environment policies. HERE you can find our coverage: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/opinion/1599823/
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THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US: TOGETAIR 2022
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