From a current diagnosis to identifying the necessary actions and tools to stop the climate crisis – this is the scope of the two-day debate in a nutshell. Expectations have been set for the COP27 summit in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt which begins on 6 November.
The PRECOP 27 conference is a joint initiative by the United Nations Global Compact Network Poland and the PTWP Group, organiser of the European Economic Congress. On 18 and 19 October 2022, more than 20 debates, discussions and accompanying events were attended by 1,200 participants and more than 2,500 people followed the online broadcast. The aim of the meeting, which took place at the International Congress Centre in Katowice, was to set out the common ground of various stakeholders – primarily business, but also science, civil society organisations and government, for the Climate Summit in Egypt (COP27).
The voices of the panellists assessing the state of progress towards the goals ranged from deep concern to satisfaction with the prevalence of the changes taking place and the extent of the actions taken primarily by responsible business. The achievements of the green transition and its shortcomings in the face of the growing effects of climate change created a complex picture. The unstable and unpredictable geopolitical environment was an obvious context for the debates and discussions.
The pandemic and the crises (energy, food, macro-economic) following the war in Europe have not invalidated global action to stop the climate crisis. The specific situation is a source of complication, while at the same time creating new opportunities for acceleration – where climate protection goals have become consistent with the need to ensure energy security or with ambitions of independence from fossil fuels, increasing self-reliance and resilience in the face of possible oppression and subsequent crisis phenomena. And these will continue to happen – which is why there is a growing need for sustainable, systemic solutions.
Hence the calls not to sacrifice long-term objectives (preventing a climate catastrophe) for short-term goals (mitigating the energy crisis). On the other hand, reservations about the pace of change at an acceptable level of social cost remain important. Both options were reconciled by the observation that tackling the climate crisis and development should be parallel and interdependent processes. Attention was drawn to the costs of change, but also to the costs of failing to change.
Social issues such as the fair transformation of carbon regions, changes in urban policies, climate education or the implementation of ESG standards were given a global dimension. It should be the ambition of the developed countries that the countries of the global South also pursue the energy transition process.
The issue of financing green transition investments and the key role of the financial sector in this context came up repeatedly in the debates. Such investments represent an opportunity to raise living standards. The need for partnerships with private business was pointed out, as public funds are far too low to finance the investments – globally, figures of $100-150 trillion have been quoted.
Various aspects of the transformation of the fuel and energy sector were strongly present on the PRECOP 27 agenda: investments in renewable sources, the hydrogen economy or the European Emissions Trading Scheme. Here, the issues of costs, economic development prospects and safety came up particularly clearly; specific demands were made to regulators – at EU or national level – by business and the social partners.
The conference in Egypt (COP27) should be practical – i.e., focusing on action plans to limit the Earth's temperature rise below a catastrophic threshold. The summit in Egypt must answer the question of how to ensure that the fight on climate is not limited to only the richest economies. A summary of the implementation of the commitments made in Paris and Glasgow should be the basis for setting new targets. The actions taken by countries must be accompanied by clear and reliable reporting of their effects.
The PRECOP 27 'white paper' – a study containing indications and recommendations that will see the light just before COP27 begins in Egypt – will be an important contribution to the global debate in Egypt. It will be sent to the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Polish delegation to the COP27, UN agencies and programmes, as well as to representatives of local governments and youth climate organisations.
PRECOP 27 was organised by the United Nations Global Compact Network Poland, the Polish secretariat of the world’s largest sustainable business initiative, and the PTWP Group, the organiser of the European Economic Congress, as well as various conferences and special events.
Within the UN system, the United Nations Global Compact is responsible for cooperating with the private sector. Inaugurated by the UN Secretary-General in 2000, the initiative brings together companies that align strategies and operations with ten universal principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. The mission of UN Global Compact is to include the private sector in the implementation of UN climate policies, and in particular the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The United Nations Global Compact Network Poland coordinates the activities of businesses that work for sustainable development in Poland. It implements environmental goals through the Climate Positive programme, which identifies and helps achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and especially Goal 13, which deals with environmental protection and climate action, as well as the complementary goals 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14 and 15.
The PTWP Group organises congresses, conferences and special events, as well as operating the International Congress Centre and the Spodek Arena in Katowice. The group holds c. 50 events per year, including the European Economic Congress (EEC), one of the most prestigious business events in our corner of Europe. Its portfolio also features events such as 4 Design Days, the Health Challenges Congress, the Property Forum, the Food Market and Trade Forum, the Health Market Forum and EEC Trends.
The PTWP Group also publishes twenty business websites, including WNP.PL, PulsHR.pl, PortalSamorzadowy.pl, PortalSpozywczy.pl, PropertyNews.pl and Well.pl.