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May 19, 2024

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News from Poland

UN Climate Conference achieves consensus, adopts Rulebook
Nearly 200 countries finally signed a joint commitment to contain global warming at no more than 2°C and prevent a global catastrophe before it’s too late. The two-week United Nations ClimateConference held in the southern Polish industrial city of Katowice went into overtime to hammer out a compromise declaration. It included substantial funding for Third World countries that cannot afford costly pro-ecological measures. Differences concerned not only richer and poorer nations but also those heavily reliant on coal such as Poland as opposed to those with sufficient non-polluting energy sources. The defalcation was also signed by the world’s major polluters including China, Russia and the US which initially had refused to go along. The Katowice Rulebook, adopted at the conference, has laid out a single system for countries to make emissions cuts under national climate plans and shows how those plans can be regularly monitored, reported and and progressively ramped up.

Liberal-dominated City Council re-communizes Warsaw’ streets
The Warsaw City Council, a hotbed of liberal opposition to Poland’s conservative government, has gone to court to retain the city’s pro-communist street names. Under legislation passed in 2016, names of several dozen Warsaw streets were de-communized. The name of Poland’s late President Lech Kaczyński replaced that of the People’s Army, a Soviet-controlled partisan group. A street honoring Soviet spy Teodor Duracz was renamed after Zbigniew Romaszewski, an anti-communist dissident. eclipsed that of Teodor Duracz, a Soviet intelligence agent. The City Council voted against the changes and, after the provincial governor kept them in force, obtained a court ruling to retain the post-war names. “Those names paid tribute to people who supported the Soviet enslavement of Poland,“ stated Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). Many Poles believe the liberal Civic Platform party is fishing for the votes of former communists and secret-police agents who now form part of its electorate.

Polish cinema shines at European “Oscar” ceremony
Paweł Pawlikowski’s post-World War II romance drama Cold War took center stage at the recent European Film Academy’s awards ceremony held in Seville, Spain. It was awarded what is popularly referred to as a European “Oscar” as the best European film. Set in 1950s Poland, Yugoslavia, Berlin and Paris, the movie tells the story of a couple unable to get along nor live without one another Pawlikowski brought home additional statuettes for best European film director and best European screenplay. Film critics predict a promising career for Poland’s Joanna Kulig, the star of Cold War, who was voted best European actress. Another Day of Life, based on a a book by the late Polish war correspondent Ryszard Kapuścński. Was the ceremony’s best European animated feature film.

By Robert Strybel
Warsaw Correspondent