Tuesday, 11. December 2018

Towards a New Climate

International conference

Date, Time
Tue, 11. Dec 2018,
9:30 am – 9:00 pm Save in my calendar

Date:                     11th December 2018
Place:                    “Szyb Wilson” Gallery, Katowice
Organizer:           Green European Foundation
Partner:               Fundacja Strefa Zieleni, Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw

During the conference, with our invited guests – representatives of the worlds of politics, administration, science and civil society – we will be discussing the most important current challenges arising out of the need to undertake ambitious action to protect the climate and develop sustainable energy. During the debate, we will analyse various scenarios for the fair transformation of mining regions, considering not only the role of new technologies, but also activities that can be taken at the political level, by the business sector or by local residents in order to build progressive, pro-environmental development strategies. How can expert knowledge be incorporated into political concepts, and how can the active participation of key actors be ensured in the process of developing a shared vision of a sustainable development path for Silesia and other regions? How can social and economic needs be reconciled with the urgent need to develop ambitious climate policies.


9:30 – 10:00  Opening of the conference

Lucile Schmid, Board Member Green European Foundation

Ewa Sufin-Jacquemart, Fundacja Strefa Zieleni

Małgorzata Tracz, Polish Green Party

10:00-10:30 General introduction

Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament, The Greens/EFA in the EP

Video by GGEP on coal transition

10:30-12:00 Just transition of mining regions

Not only in Poland, but also in various parts of some European countries, coal and lignite mining are an important part of local identity, culture and economy. However, for economic and ecological reasons, in the coming decade(s) coal regions and communities must shift away from a coal-based economy. In this process, they need to deeply restructure their economy and find new future perspectives for their citizens. What are the economic and social challenges in the ecological modernization of these regions? Could the possible decarbonisation strategies be useful in different coal regions? How to include different actors in creating a common vision of the future while building concrete development strategies? How to address a changing job market and a need to build a competitive economy while empowering people to pursue change? To what extent could renewable energy become an answer to these questions?


  • Annalena Baerbock, Chairwoman of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Germany
  • Marcin Bazylak, Mayor of Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland (tbc)
  • Andrzej Błachowicz, Managing Director, Climate Strategies, London
  • Monika Paca, “Szyb Wilson” Gallery, Katowice, Poland
  • Miłka Stępień, Polish Green Party, Konin, Poland

Moderation: Patryk Białas, Director of Innovation and Competence Centre in EURO-CENTRUM Science and Technology Park, President of BoMiasto Association and local councillor in Katowice

12:00-13:30 Potential green jobs as a result of green transition

Meeting the challenge of climate change requires structural changes to the economy so that it is no longer dependent on fossil fuels. Different consumption and production patterns will lead to a loss of traditional jobs, but a large number of new jobs will also have to be created to accommodate the changed needs of our societies. This panel will discuss the research done by GEF throughout the past years that has led to a model to estimate the number of jobs that would be created in key sectors of the economy. During the event, the research report will be launched that summarises estimates for three EU member states – UK, Ireland and Hungary – and shows that increasing ambition on climate targets and transitioning the economy towards zero-carbon would result in a net increase in jobs all over the country, helping to rebalance the economy. The debate will take into account the implications the research will have on a policy level, including input from Prof. Jan Popczyk from the Silesian University of Technology, who will present results of his own metrics applied to Poland. It will also complement theory with real achievements in Germany and Spain.


  • Peter Sims, Green House Think tank, UK
  • Anja Siegesmund, Minister of Environment, Energy and Nature Protection of Thuringia, Germany
  • Florent Marcellesi, MEP, The Greens/EFA in the EP
  • Prof. Jan Popczyk, Silesian University of Technology, Poland


  • Thomas Simpson, Green Foundation, Ireland

Moderation: Jonathan Essex, Green House Think tank, UK

13:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30-16:00 “Zero net emissions” - are carbon removals effective enough?

Technological solutions (like carbon capture and storage – CCS) and environmental solutions, in particular evolutions in land use, agriculture and climate-friendly forest management are important steps towards achieving carbon neutrality.

This debate will focus on political will, scientific evidence and results of experimenting with various solutions based on carbon sinks, as well as scientific validity of methods used for assessing the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. At the same time this panel will point to structural changes our societies will have to undergo to achieve the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting temperature rise to 2°C or even 1.5°C: phase out of fossil fuels, change the logic inherent to our agricultural and food system, etc.


  • Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food (video)
  • Michal Wilczynski, Poland's former National Chief Geologist, energy expert
  • Miriam Kennet, Green Economics Institute, UK
  • Dr Claire Weill, INRA, “4 for 1000” initiative, FR
  • Krzysztof Cibor, Greenpeace Poland

Moderation: Ewa Sufin-Jacquemart, Fundacja Strefa Zieleni


Why nuclear energy is a false solution for a climate-oriented energy transition?

Poland is in the process of deciding whether to build its first nuclear power station. The public is divided, but the studies of locations, technologies, partners and investors nevertheless continue. During this panel it will be discussed whether nuclear energy is really the answer to the decarbonisation challenge and explore more sustainable solutions. This discussion is our contribution to the debate on nuclear energy happening in Poland today.


  • Yannick Jadot or Michele Rivasi, MEP (The Greens/EFA in the EP)
  • Yves Marignac, Director of Wise-Paris think tank
  • Marie Toussaint, Notre Affaire à Tous association, EELV
  • Charline Dufournet, négaWatt Association

Moderation: Benoit Monange, Fondation de l’Ecologie Politique, France

17:30 Closing of the conference - final remarks by Natalie Bennett (Board Member Green European Foundation and Green Party of England and Wales) and Evelyne Huytebroeck (European Green Party)

18:00 Buffet

19:00-21:00 Movie screening:

Human energy” of Adam Dzienis (2018, 60 min.) + debate after the movie with Adam Dzienis , Weronika Bloch and Anna Krenz, moderated by Ewa Sufin-Jacquemart