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The Warsaw Voice » Destination Warsaw » April 25, 2013
Destination Warsaw
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Focusing on Climate Change
April 25, 2013   
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Tomasz Chruszczow, Special Envoy for Climate Change at the Polish Ministry of the Environment, talks to Jolanta Wolska.

How important is it for Warsaw to host the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) in November?
It’s an opportunity for Poland to demonstrate that the global process is something we believe in and that multilateral negotiations on climate change are the best way to find solutions to the problem of global warming.

People’s immediate needs include secure access to drinking water, food security and energy security. If these key needs are met then the basis for further development is established.

Are there lessons to be learned from the COP14 climate change conference hosted by Poland in Poznań in 2008?
We have huge experience in organizing big events, and that is very important. We learned in Poznań and at other COP conventions that the COP presidency needs to play a very active role and be actively engaged with every party to the convention and seek solutions or compromises that are acceptable to all, and ones that will lay the foundation for future agreements.

How many people do you expect in Warsaw for the conference?
We expect 12,000-15,000 people to come to Warsaw. That includes government delegates, delegates from intergovernmental institutions, UN observers and quite a big group—about 2,000—from NGO communities. Participants will include nongovernmental organizations active in environmental protection, representatives from industry, scientific institutions, women’s groups and so on.

What can Poland be proud of when it comes to climate policy?
The conference gives us the opportunity to demonstrate Poland’s true commitment to climate policy, which is demonstrated by the achievements of the last 20 years during which we have reduced our emissions and improved the overall efficiency of the economy. We have reduced fuel and energy consumption, while tripling our GDP at the same time. So we have an impressive record of how to transform the economy towards one based on low emissions. Of course, we are not there yet, but we are on the way. However, in such a short time we have achieved an excellent result. Few countries in the world can boast a tripling of their GDP and at the same time a reduction of emissions by 30 percent—that is quite an achievement.
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