Poland: The green and digital transitions at the 30th Economic Forum in Karpacz
10 September 2021
The EIB joined the 30th Economic Forum in Karpacz, Poland (7-9 September) to discuss the perspective of a post-pandemic world with experts, business representatives and policy-makers from Poland and other European countries.
The Economic Forum took place in the mountains of Lower Silesia, in south-western Poland. Since the fall of communism, it is a place where Europeans from East and West meet to discuss economy and society.
Karpacz is famous for its clean air and great outdoors. It also has a stadium named after Irena Szewińska,a Polish sprinter and one of the world's foremost athletes in the sixties and seventies. She is the only athlete in history to have held the world record in the 100m, the 200m and the 400m. The stadium is where delegates register before deep-diving into Forum debates and networking. Perhaps the historic successes of Mrs Szewinska inspired many participants. It is common wisdom that the decade 2020-2030 is the critical one in terms of climate action. Humanity is not anymore on a marathon, but perhaps on a sprint to decarbonise the world before it is too late.
The EIB is certainly aware of the urgency and is not afraid to sprint.
At the Economic Forum, Teresa Czerwińska, Vice-President of the EIB, emphasised that Europe and Poland should take action for climate and a sustainable environment and the digital transformation of our economies, which connects to a more general drive towards innovation, often referred to as the green and digital “twin transitions.”
Green and digital – the twin transitions
The European Green Deal aims to make Europe a climate neutral continent by 2050. The EIB is part of the solution thanks to its Climate Bank Roadmap, which earmarks at least 50% of its financing to climate action and environmental sustainability and aligns the Bank with the Paris Agreement.
As for digitalisation, it is more than just implementing online services. It is about changing and adapting the way we work, move, produce and learn. Innovation at large benefits entire sectors.
Grzegorz Rabsztyn, Director of the EIB’s office in Poland, explained that the Bank deployed over €1 billion of financing in 2020 for projects linked to innovation, including for medical firms like Scope Fluidics and electro mobility firms like LG Chem and Umicore.
The digital revolution and the leap to a green, carbon neutral economy are particularly important for Poland as these so-called “twin transitions” are profoundly connected in the country. To achieve the transformation of its energy system, still reliant on fossil fuels, Poland will need to invest significantly in innovation, so that it can decarbonise successfully and fairly, embrace renewables, imagine and adopt energy efficiency solutions for our way of life.
The EIB Group, including the EIB and its subsidiary – the European Investment Fund, is ready to scale up its support to public and private sector companies and institutions that will embark on a green, digital and inclusive transformation. “We need to make this effort now to make our societies more resilient to future shocks and more prosperous,” said Vice-President Czerwinska.
La BEI a participé au Forum économique de Karpacz en Pologne (du 7 au 9 septembre) pour débattre de la question de l’après-pandémie avec des experts, des représentants d’entreprises et des décideurs issus des milieux politique, économique et universitaire polonais.
The Economic Forum, which will take place this year in Karpacz, in Lower Silesia, on 7-9 September, is the largest conference in Central and Eastern Europe to discuss and exchange views on the prospects for economic development, the fight against crises and current challenges. The Forum’s mission is to create a favourable climate for the development of political and economic cooperation between EU Member States and their neighbours. This year’s thirtieth, jubilee edition takes place under the slogan ‘Europe in Search of Leadership’.
By 2050, the European Union is meant to achieve climate neutrality, or net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Clean hydrogen can be a key factor in reducing emissions in the transport sector and in industry, becoming a green energy source for these difficult areas of the economy. According to forecasts, hydrogen technologies will be viable within 5 to 10 years. An advisory agreement signed between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Polish Cluster of Hydrogen Technologies will support the roll-out of clean hydrogen technologies in the country.