23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) which took place in Bonn and was presided over by Fiji has come to an end on the 18th of November 2017 after a long night of negotiations.
24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) / 14th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP14) will be held in the city of Katowice, Poland from 3-14 December 2018.
Poland was chosen as the upcoming President by the Eastern European Group, whose turn it is to host the conference following Asia-Pacific in 2017. This will also be the 4th time that Poland has presided over a UN climate change conference.
2018 will be another important year for international climate diplomacy. Indeed 2018 is when nations need to finalise the guideline for fully operationalise the Paris Agreement (i.e global stocktake) in order to achieve the Paris’s ambition. It is the year to put meat on the bones.
COP24 will be held at the formal heart of Poland’s coal-mining industry. The first mention of Katowice dates back to the year 1598 and it had became a coal mining area since 19 century.
Now, the city has revitalised. The former Katowice Black Coal Mine has been named as Culture Zone as it has been transformed into a sort of “mine of culture”. It includes 4 iconic buildings:
- The International Congress Centre
- The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
- SPODEK Sports and Entertainment Arena
- Silesian Museum
International Congress Centre and SPODEK will be the main venue for COP24. The International Congress Centre is a multi-functional centre which can host 15,000 people at a time. (Double the capacity of the World Conference Centre in Bonn). As for SPODEK, it is said that inside there is also a skating-rink and hotel. I sincerely hope that the skating rink will be opened during COP24.
Accommodation & Transportation
Katowice is small and space is limited. It is advisable to start booking accommodation for COP 24
There is a video showing information about accommodation at the COP24 official website. Based on the video uploader, it can be assumed that a company called Mazurkas Travel (Poland) will in-charge (or monopoly over) the accommodation in Katowice during COP24. All accommodation is otherwise frozen and cannot be booked by outside agencies.
It is said that 15,400 rooms already been booked by Mazurkas Travel which comprises of 1-5 star hotels, apartment and hostels. Due to space limit, some may need to stay further at other states of Poland such as Krakow. Public transportations are available but the transit time will takes up to 1 hour. In other words, one needs to spend 2 hours per day just to transit.
Besides, there is also an official COP24 hotel reservation site. The booking system will only opens on 1st march 2018 but pre-booking requests are allowed. They can be contacted @ email@example.com
The nearest airports are Katowice Airport and Krakow Airport which are 30 and 65 km from Katowice, respectively.
Written by Thomas Lai