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PKP Energetyka as part of the Polish delegation to the United Nations Global Compact Leaders’ Summit 2020

At the United Nations Global Compact Leaders’ Summit 2020, 200 experts from all over the world discussed how to find a common solution to the problems of inequality, the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Wojciech Orzech, President of PKP Energetyka, took part in the event on behalf of the Polish delegation. He spoke about the role of partnership in building railway transport based on renewable energy sources.

The virtual summit, held on June 15-16, was one of the largest meetings of world leaders working within the UN Global Compact, i.e., the UN agenda that has been working for a more responsible and sustainable development for 20 years. This year, the summit was held under the slogans of recovery and partnership: “Recover better, recover stronger, recover together.” The event attracted over 20 thousand participants.

“The COVID-19 situation has taught us to rely on science, knowledge and technology. The virus is a short-term phenomenon, while climate change is a long-term one. Therefore, we need to be more determined and faster in the fight against global warming. Countries need to develop individual approaches to technology. This requires very strong involvement of the private sector and the creation of a system of incentives for companies to invest in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency,” Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, Director of the UN Development Coordination Office Regional, commented during the conference.

Zero-emission rail – case study of modern transport

The participants of the panel entitled “The Power of Partnerships in a Time of Crisis and Recovery” discussed the challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic and their impact on business strategies. They all emphasized the role of inclusion, cooperation and shared, common goals in the recovery from the current crisis. The problem of worsening climate changes was arising in discussion very often. The solution should be new technologies and models that allow individual sectors of the economy to reduce CO2 emissions.

A specific example that stood out during the panel was the Polish railway industry and its pursuit of zero emissions. As Wojciech Orzech, President of PKP Energetyka, pointed out, the project on which Polish railway companies are working is fully transferable and can be used in other markets.

“An important part of our strategy is related to the response to climate change. COVID has not changed our plans in this regard. Rail is the backbone of electromobility and it has the potential to become a leader in the transformation of the entire transport sector. Rail is already the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly mode of transport; now, it is time to base its power supply on renewable energy sources, which will positively affect the environment and increase the competitiveness of the whole industry,”Wojciech Orzechemphasized.

In Poland, we have a unique opportunity to transform the whole of railway transport into a fully green system. Moreover, the whole industry is already working on it. The Railway Energy Efficiency Centre, which brings together about 100 entities, is working on detailed solutions for the “Green Railway” programme. The idea is to “build” together a distributed, green and intelligent “power plant”, with almost 2 GW of solar and wind power.

Nowadays, energy for the railways in Poland accounts for 2% of all electricity drawn from the network. The project for the transition of Polish rail to Renewable Energy Sources, presented at the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit, assumes a transformation to obtain 85% of the railways’ energy from sun and wind by 2030. The initiative has met with great interest as a case study, and has a real chance to become an element of economic recovery in an environmentally friendly way.

Last modified: 11/19/2020