Municipal authorities, business leaders, and NGOs concerned with the issue of sustainable development also took part in the event.
The event addressed issues around climate change and how quickly the situation is developing, what can be expected over the next few decades, and what measures must take place in order prepare our everyday lives to these changes. Bringing together climate change scientists, consulting engineers and local government created an opportunity to discuss the opportunities and threats that would result from climate change: the adaptation of urban areas (the AdaptCity project) and climate resilience from the business perspective (the report, Climate Change and Business Survival, by Mott MacDonald and the Global Sustainability Institute).
After an opening from Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Jonathan Knott, Jeremy Purseglove, author of the classic book Taming the Flood, spoke. Prof Purseglove’s book, which was written 30 years ago and was reprinted last year, describes mankind’s ongoing war with floodwater, and how this has changed from protecting agricultural land to protecting built-up areas.
Dr David Viner from Mott MacDonald spoke about the Paris Treaty on climate change and the effects of various scenarios, based on different concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Putting those scenarios into a local context was Dr Małgorzata Liszewska, Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling, University of Warsaw, who presented forecasts for Warsaw’s climate to the end of the century.
Prof Tomasz Żylicz, University of Warsaw, Global Compact Poland, talked about the external costs of climate change, and then Cezary Lejkowski from Climate-KIC talked about the need for innovation in building that would be needed to adapt to future climatic conditions.
A panel discussion, moderated by Dr Wojciech Szymalski, from the Institute for Sustainable Development, Adaptcity, discussed the issues raised in the presentations. Dr Liszewska was joined for the panel by Justyna Król, from Pracownia Miejska, author of the Konin2050 strategy, Leszek Drogosz, director of the Office for Infrastructure, City of Warsaw, Prof Artur Magnuszewski, from the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw, and Prof Krzysztof Błażejczyk from the Polish Academy of Sciences.
The panel was followed by a networking lunch at the Embassy.