The discussion of youth and experts was the first out of two debates during the Green Ribbon #ForThePlanet campaign. The debate was held on 4th June in the Warsaw Pavilion of Architecture ZODIAK. The discussion was enriched with lively discussion with the audience.

 

The debate was opened by a welcoming speech from Maria Andrzejewska, the Director of UNEP/GRID- Warsaw Centre, the representative of UNICEF Poland (the Partner of the Debate) and Leszek Drogosz from The City of Warsaw (which is a co-organiser of the entire campaign).

The keynote speaker was Matthew Billot – a representative of UN Environment who presented the most interesting data from the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) report. He focused on the #BeatAirPollution issue – the leading theme of the World Environment Day in 2019.  He highlighted that low air quality causes almost 7 million premature deaths around the world. The expert pointed out priority activities to improve air quality and to adjust to climate change, e.g. improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings,  investments in renewable energy sources or expansion of district heating networks.

From knowledge to awareness

The youth have very much agreed on the role of strengthening social awareness on environmental issues. 

Klara Foryciarz from the Youth Climate Strike talked about bottom-up initiatives amongst children and youth, Krzysztof Rentflejsz shared stories on how youth is engaged in pro-climate activities. He pointed out that such a voice was heard during COP 24 in Katowice in 2018.

Krzysztof Kotela-Cios talked about the application of Sustainable Development Goals in schools such as Batory High School located in Warsaw.

The panellists were discussing who is most responsible for taking action to reduce smog and improving air quality on the local level.

Paweł Trzaskowski from the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) introduced its report on air pollution in Poland and its key findings.

Robert Widz – II Vice-President of Piaseczno City talked about funds for photovoltaic installations on the local level.

Jacek Pniewski from the University of Warsaw shared ideas on broadening social knowledge on climate change and environmental care by introducing an internet portal on climate science https://naukaoklimacie.pl/

Little steps #ForThePlanet

The audience was very attentive in sharing their opinion on what to do to improve the condition of the natural environment. One of the ideas was to change consumer habits in various sectors such as diet or commuting. Participants considered ideas on how to spread good practices that aim for clean air and a better climate.

After the debate was finished all guests and panelists had a chance to make small ECOcommitments #ForThePlanet and stick them to the symbolic palm tree.