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TOGETAIR 2021: Prime Minister opens last day of Climate Summit

“Climate change must be socially just”, said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki inaugurating Day 3 of TOGETAIR Climate Summit.

Friday, April 23, is the final day of the TOGETAIR 2021 Climate Summit. The event featured an unusual guest – Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. In his opening speech, the Prime Minister pointed to the perspective frequently adopted by experts while discussing Poland’s energy transition:

There are broad swaths of society that cannot bear the cost of the energy transition. The cost must be distributed appropriately, that is, all segments of society must have the perspective of change. (…) Climate change must be socially just.

Another important quest was the Minister of Family and Social Policy, Marlena Maląg, pointing out the role of the family in the whole process:

We must come together to form a broad coalition in support of families and the environment.

Developers admit mistakes

Earlier, before the official start of the Climate Summit, a press breakfast was held with participation of Konrad Płochocki from the Polish Association of Developers who admitted that “carosis” and “concretosis” were a mistake. At the same time, he introduced a new industry initiative – to beat the Guinness World Record for constructing the largest insect house.

Trade balance positive thanks to eco-investments

The first debate of the day was devoted to ecology in the context of opportunities for Poland, Poles and economic growth. The discussion was attended by the Minister of Climate and Environment, Michal Kurtyka:

We are able to greatly improve the trade balance by switching from fossil fuel energy to electric cars or photovoltaic panels (even though these are capital intensive investments in the short term).

Polish farmers – the youngest in Europe with excellent opportunities ahead of them

Another panel was devoted to Polish agriculture and its ecological development. The panellists pointed out the tremendous potential for growth in agriculture and the need for efficient, functional development incentives, including assistance programs.

Poland – Green Bond pioneer in Europe

The third debate of the day was devoted to the ESG system and Green Bonds. The speakers emphasised that Poland was the first issuer of this type of instrument. Today France assumed the role of the leader, but our country is still very active in this field.

We need to realize that taking care for the environment is no longer just an add-on within the CSR activities of companies or organisations. Sustainability and climate neutrality have become one of the most important economic goals of the entire European Union, clearly defined in time. Thus, in the coming decades, the efforts of countries and entire sectors will focus on this goal. That requires coordination, organisation and huge financial resources. In this regard, we can observe increasing number of programs or so-called green financial instruments emerging on the market, favouring pro-ecological investments or dedicated exclusively to them. It is also worth paying attention to ESG ratings, which are an excellent point of reference for investors interested in joining green revolution. Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance and how important it became for all of us is also a sign of our times. All these changes are fully in line with the values of BOŚ – Environmental Protection Bank, which since its inception has specialized in financing eco-friendly investments. Because we are aware that we are all beneficiaries of this approach - said Wojciech Hann, CEO of Bank Ochrony Środowiska.

Pandemic accelerates digital transformation

The next meeting was devoted to e-services from the perspective of state and local government as well as the private market. The panellists agreed that the unusual situation related to the pandemic speeded up digitalisation. Consumers, compelled by circumstances, finally accepted this form of contact while institutions managed to overcome their previous inertia. However tragic the pandemic is for the world, it brought a positive change in dynamics of digital transformation.

Cities can be green too

The future of housing was brought up repeatedly throughout the Climate Summit. This time, however, the panellists focused on the idea of sustainable urban planning, talking about the prospects that await Polish cities in the context of sustainable development.

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

Municipal waste market at legislative crossroads

According to experts, there is no chance today that garbage fees will go down to their previous levels and further price increases may be expected. The panel focused on price increases and the balance of recent waste law reforms. Moreover, experts deliberated on legislative changes that will remodel this market in the coming years. The entire waste industry expressed its concern about the lack of reforms, especially in the context of the Extended Producer Responsibility system. They also called for legislation to be passed as soon as possible to guarantee higher subsidies for waste management. This debate was one of the most exciting discussions during the entire event.

TOGETAIR 2021 – Knowledge and inspiration

Friday, April 23, is the final day of the TOGETAIR 2021 Climate Summit – a great event, broadcast live to millions of users across the country.

TOGETAIR Climate Summit gathered outstanding experts to share their knowledge, experience and inspire valuable changes. We are proud to have created a space for such an exchange of ideas and knowledge. TOGETAIR is more than just a conference – it is a place to learn about opportunities, listen to people and gain ecological knowledge at any, most convenient moment. Let me remind you that you may watch a recorded Summit broadcast all year round - comments Agata Śmieja, the President of the Clean Air Foundation and the initiator of the whole event.

This year, TOGETAIR combined the publication of the report and debates with a nationwide and international reach. The objective was to highlight Polish actions on the level of national administration and present the Polish position on ecology and contribution to CO2 emission reduction in the European Union - said Artur Beck, Producer and Organizer of the TOGATAIR Climate Summit, President of the Positive Ideas Foundation.

See you next year!

TOGETAIR 2021 Team