INAUGURATION SESSION: Strategy for the Earth
The goals and role of climate summits in fighting climate change. The achievement of such meetings with COP26 in Glasgow as a focal point. The Paris Agreement and reality. EU’s approach to COP27 – main assumptions, challenges: forestation, abandoning coal, reducing emissions, electro mobility. Climatic goals in a world of volatility, tensions and crises. The aftermath of the pandemic and the war in Europe – their influence on the conditions of implementation, availability of tools, prioritisation of the goals of the climate policy and green transition. A global economy of raw materials and resources in an era of geopolitical turbulences and fierce competition between economic powerhouses.
Business in the face of green transition
Climate goals and the activity of businesses. The significance of climate summits in fighting climate change – the perception of business. Can the paradigm of growth, profit and financial indicators be reconciled with green revolution? Major companies in the avant guard of pro-environmental changes. Eco-friendliness in a business strategy – self-awareness, the pressure of legislature, partners and clients, or a competitive advantage. Examples and methods of eco-friendly changes. Forecasts. Through the eyes of experts: climate challenges for business in a time of economic consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and deglobalisation.
Role, the scope of action, and prospects of multilateral development banks: infrastructure investments that support a low-emissions economy, environmental protection, climate change adaptation and energy security. Commercial banks and energy transformation project funding. Global sustainable assets – investor expectations, financial sector strategies, the role of legislation. Financial instruments for cities that implement transformation and climate adaptation programmes.
Sustainable agriculture and the food crisis
Feed people, protect the environment – new goals of agriculture, production, and distribution. Industrial animal farming – how do we reduce methane emissions? Green technologies and innovations – examples. Agriculture in search of ways of reaching biodiversity. Farms of the future in cities. EU‘s Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027, the Green Deal and the “Farm to Fork“ strategy – the assumptions, conditions, challenges. Food security in times of uncertainty and geopolitical turmoil.
Green energy revolution
Energy transformation in the context of the UN‘s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG7) and the Energy Progress Report. Where are we now? What have we achieved? Where are we heading? Renewable energy sources in developed and developing countries. How do we satisfy our growing needs and successfully prevent energy poverty? Independence and security as the drivers of investment in independent energy sources and a reduced demand for fossil fuels. Hydrogen technologies, nuclear energy and their current and prospective role in the transformation.
Less is more – energy efficiency in the system of climate protection. Poland compared to Europe. Energy intensity of an economy in the context of climate goals, revolution of supply chains, and repercussions of a hike in the prices of energy raw materials. Investments in the improvement of energy efficiency – types of investments, costs, effects. Examples of implementations. The balance sheet and stimuli provided by the state or the EU. Prospective technologies.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Measurements, largest sources, climate impact and main directions for limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The European emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) as an instrument for achieving ambitious reduction goals. Resources shared within the framework of the ETS – economic, social, environmental effects. How to reform the system to allow the EU to achieve its decarbonisation goals? Other (global) emissions trading schemes; unfair competition and how to combat it. Emissions import fees (CBAM) – a good solution? Prospects for the development of national and local schemes – opportunities for international cooperation and integration. The future of emissions trading schemes and their expansion into transport and construction. Emissions trading schemes in our fight against smog and energy poverty.
Hydrogen and the hydrogen economy
Hydrogen as the fuel of the future – prospects and barriers to overcome. Available technologies and the state of the art of the hydrogen economy in Europe and the world. Green hydrogen and renewable energy. Hydrogen production and transport – how to pull it off effectively? Sectors and industries that may use hydrogen.
A renaissance of nuclear energy? Domestic programmes and private investor activities. Nuclear technologies as a source of clean energy – their role in transformation, energy security, stabilisation and crisis resilience. Potential of SMR and MMR technologies – path to commercialisation.
Offshore and onshore wind farms
Accelerating the decarbonisation of the economy and diversifying fuel and energy supplies as an impulse for the development of renewable sources, including the offshore and onshore wind sector. Prospects and potential of offshore wind energy in Europe and the world. Technologies, performance, efficiency. Opportunities and barriers: the offshore and onshore industry, network and servicing infrastructure, skills and know-how, legal environment. Opportunities for the development of onshore wind farms in the context of amendments to the so-called “distance act”.
Conclusions and recommendations of the Waste Summit held within the Framework of the World Urban Forum (WUF 11). Plastic – a global problem. What are our alternatives to plastic? Short product durability – producer attitudes, the role of consumers and legal regulations. Electronic waste, textiles, construction waste, composites and other difficult waste. Sustainable design for zero-waste production. Sustainable fashion vs fast fashion (UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion). Circular economy as a challenge for economies, sectors and businesses. The security-deposit system. Importance of Extended Producer Responsibility for achieving circular economy objectives.
Water resources and retention
Global water resource use and availability. Environmental, social and economic consequences of the structural water deficit. Water and infrastructure in the context of sustainable development, labour and quality of life. The resources we lose: natural or artificial retention, renaturation or hydro technology? Desalination, sewage treatment, circular water systems. An integrated approach to water challenges. Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda – achievements and challenges. Role of UN-Water and international cooperation.
A Climate Education Roundtable – state of dialogue on introducing climate education into Polish schools. The “Climate Education in Poland“ report published by the UN GC Network Poland. The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the achievements of Polish climate change science. What do Polish schools need? – the Youth Climate Council and politicians.
Sustainable construction as a global trend. Construction as a challenge: the potential for reducing its climate impact and complex decarbonisation processes. Changes in industrial, infrastructural and office construction. Residential housing – trends, norms, environmental awareness. The carbon footprint of buildings and infrastructure across their lifecycle – how to measure and reduce it. Low- and zero-emissions materials and building technologies. Passive buildings: certification and costs. Circular economy principles in construction. Coexistence between buildings and nature. Retention, heritage protection, clean-up in modern architecture.
Transport as a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Technologies, organisation and regulations to decarbonise transport. Renewable energy and e-mobility, hydrogen, gas, hybrid systems – what are the alternatives to fossil fuels in transport? The emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) in European transport. Modern infrastructure as a prerequisite for transport transformation. Optimising logistics, transport and supply organisation. Toward clean and effective transport – preconditions.
ESG – a call for responsibility
Climate protection policies and the drive toward sustainable production as game changers for business. ESG standards and strategies – natural environment, society and the corporate order, or the criteria that redefine business values. A long-term perspective over immediate profit. Good practices – is it worth being a leader of change? European taxonomy – new legal instruments to classify economic activities as environmentally sustainable. Norms and standards, codification and legal basis.
Cities for the climate
Changes in city management, spatial planning and municipal management aimed towards fighting the climate crisis. Toward zero-emissions – selected city projects and programmes. Municipal services and resource and energy management. Challenges, threats and directions of necessary actions, that is the achievements of the 11th edition of the World Urban Forum in Katowice. The next WUF 12 summit (Egypt, 2024): infrastructure, energy and digital economy in the development of cities and metropolises. Green transformation in urban centres and the quality of life – social expectations and new priorities. Cities against smog, pollution and noise.
Technologies for the climate
Growth of “green“ technologies – the answer of science and industry: how can modern technologies support sustainable processes in the economy? Renewable energy sources – available and efficient? Economizing on resources in production; implementing the ideas of circular economy in practice. Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things at the service of energy efficiency. A holistic approach: cooperation of various domains in the development of pro-environmental solutions. Is technology enough to stop climate change? How should an effective climate policy be run?
Repair, rewear, recycle – circular fashion trends. Slow instead of fast – legislators and consumers raising the bar. Green technologies, alternative materials. Responsibility for a product, package and the environment.
REPowerEU: climate, security, economy
The REPowerEU Plan as the EU’s response to the challenges of transforming the European energy system: the need of the EU to become independent from Russian fossil fuels and the need to overcome the climate crisis. Key objectives and available resources, tools, directions of activities and their conditions. The role of energy efficiency, diversification of sources of raw materials and fuels and the development of renewable energy. How accelerating green transformation can affect economic growth, security and containment of climate change. Europe in cooperation with partners.
Toward a fair transformation of coal regions
European coal regions are facing a shift toward climate neutrality. How to mitigate the effects of transition by diversifying and modernising local economies and job markets? Previous record of social and economic transformation in the Silesian Voivodeship. Projects carried out within the framework of fair regional transformation plans as an opportunity to grow in new areas and open up new markets. The role of business, entrepreneurship and social participation in the programming process. Investors in the Fair Transformation Fund – a key instrument. Cooperation between the EU and national, regional and local governments.