Climate congress without water

Kongres klimatyczny

The Polish Climate Congress is a rather large event that was intended to be a platform for discussing climate change among a wide range of stakeholders. Over the course of two days, 18 panel discussions covered topics on issues:

  • energetic,
  • self-governing,
  • Investment,
  • Financial.

The inclusion of diverse perspectives, including foreign ones, was a definite plus of the event. In the section on the challenges of the energy transition, the voice of NGOs, innovators, but also representatives of municipalities that face different conditions resounded. Mining Bogdanka is, after all, in a very different situation than the developing Sanok within the Hydrogen Valley.

The financial perspective was also an extremely interesting thread. The panels featured discussions of both where to get the money for the energy transition and what responsibilities will be placed on institutions supporting the change with capital, including banks.

The congress generally focused on issues of energy transition and its relationship to climate change. There was a definite lack of a broader perspective. After all, the problem is not only greenhouse gas emissions. Some threads were hinted at, such as the topic of the local closed-loop economy and standardization of green maintenance in cities, but the weight of the discussion tilted toward topics related to the carbon footprint and energy. Admittedly, this is an important topic and in Poland in particular problematic, but the name of the event obliges.

In my opinion, the climate congress should address a broader scale than just CO2 emissions. For me, as a water expert, there was a lack of discussion about the importance of water in the context of climate change. After all, it is one of the key limiting raw materials for a closed-loop economy, it is the coolant in nuclear power plants, but it is also essential in adapting to climate change. It seems to me that it is high time to stop talking about the changes taking place solely in the context of greenhouse gases and energy. These topics are important, but their domination of the discussion means that very important issues, such as, for example, the massive loss of biodiversity, are not getting through to the general public. I hope that at such important events as the Polish Climate Congress, we will finally start discussing climate change across the spectrum of its impact.

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