44 Polish cities, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment, participate in the project aimed at adapting them to the observed and prognosed climate changes.Learn more about the project
Cities are particularly sensitive areas where the most pressing challenges are concentrated, from water scarcity and poor air quality to economic disruption and social instability. Session participants stressed the importance of building cooperation within cities and synergies between cities.
Climate change is one of the most important threats to sustainable development, economic stability and a safe society – said Sławomir Mazurek, Deputy Minister of the Environment, opening the discussion during the session “Adapting to climate change in cities”, which took place on 8 December this year.
He pointed out that cities are particularly sensitive areas where the most pressing challenges are concentrated, from water scarcity and poor air quality to economic disruption and social instability. He also stressed the importance of building synergies between cities and building a platform for the exchange of experience and good practice.
Adaptation to climate change is a relatively new trend in the development policy of countries and cities, which cannot be ignored – said the deputy minister.
Szymon Tumielewicz, Deputy Director of the Department of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation at the Ministry of the Environment, presented the most important assumptions underlying the development of climate change adaptation plans for 44 Polish cities. He pointed out that within the framework of this undertaking a model of cooperation between experts and representatives of local governments was developed and cooperation with local communities was initiated.
The discussion part was attended, among others, by: Patrick V. Verkooijen, Director of the Global Adaptation Centre, Yann Françoise, Director for Climate, Energy and Economy in the Closed Circuit, City of Paris, Mariusz Skiba, Vice-President of Katowice, Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, International Council for Environmental Initiatives – ICLEI, Yvon Slingenberg, Director for Climate Change, Yvon Slingenberg, Director for Sustainable Development. International Policy Coordination and Mainstreaming, DG Climate Action, European Commission, Henk WJ Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs of the Netherlands, Krystian Szczepański, Director, Institute for Environmental Protection – PIB.
Yann Françoise pointed out that after 13 years of implementing measures to increase Paris’ resilience to climate change, he can say that raising awareness and the widest possible cooperation between city authorities, residents, scientists and business is crucial if we want to stimulate adaptation and mitigation in the city space.
If we adapt to climate change, at the same time we reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Henk Ovink, stressing that these actions are parallel, develop together and produce results together.
The way in which adaptation policies are implemented may vary considerably from country to country. In Poland, we develop guidelines for cities devoted to local adaptation plans, which we launched a few years ago, as well as a handbook for investors on how to include climate change issues in project preparation,” explained Sławomir Mazurek, Deputy Minister of the Environment, in the discussion part.