Opening and closing speeches
Michał Kurtyka Minister of Climate and Environment, Poland
Michał Kurtyka is a graduate of the prestigious Parisian École Polytechnique and a scholarship holder in the field of quantum optics of the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, where he worked under the leadership of Nobel laureate in physics William D. Phillips. During the course of his studies, he also specialised in economics, with particular focus on market organisation, studying under Professor Jean Tirole, the 2014 Nobel laureate in economics. In the field of international economics, he studied at the University in Louvain-la-Neuve and he acquired his master’s degree at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics. He defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Warsaw. He was a lecturer in the field of change management, economics, market organization and industrial strategy at the University of Warsaw, the Collegium Civitas and the Oxford Programme On Modern Poland. He is a co-author of the concept of implementation of effective changes in an enterprise, described in the book Change Management. From Strategy to Action, as well as the author of the book From Restructuring to Modernisation. Delayed Transformation of the Polish Power Sector in 1990–2009.
He began his professional career in the Office of the Committee for European Integration, in the team of Minister Jan Kułakowski – responsible for conducting accession negotiations with the European Union – where he led the analytical team and was directly responsible for the field of energy and transport. Later, he oversaw the modernisation of many Polish companies by supporting them in adapting to the challenges of the European and global markets. He was a promoter of European cooperation in the area of industrial change and adjustment of the European industry to the challenges of globalisation at, among others, the European University of Labour and the Dublin Foundation.
He is the author of the government programme for electromobility development in Poland, which was described for the first time as a concept in the book written in 2013–2015, together with Professor Leszek Jesień, New Electricity and New Cars.
Starting 1 January 2016, he served as the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Energy, where he was directly responsible for the technological development and implementation of innovations in the energy sector, implementation of climate and energy policy in the fuel and gas sector, conducting international relations with countries and international organisations. He was also responsible for supervision of the state’s participation in the biggest Polish energy companies in the oil and gas industry, such as Orlen, Lotos and PGNiG. He was the originator of “The Electromobility Development Plan”, and thereafter he guided the creation of the Act on Electromobility and Alternative Fuels, thanks to which these forms of transport will be able to develop dynamically.
On 27 April 2018, he was appointed as Government Plenipotentiary for the Presidency of COP24 – the United Nations Climate Summit in Poland. On 2 December 2018, he became the COP24 President, which ended with a success. At the 24th UN climate summit, the international community agreed on the Katowice Rulebook, implementing the Paris Agreement.
From July 2018, he held the position of the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment.
On 15 November 2019, he was appointed as the Minister of the newly established Ministry of Climate.
On October 6th, 2020, after the government’s reconstruction, he was appointed to the office of Minister of the newly established Ministry of Climate and Environment.
H.E. Frédéric Billet Ambassador of France to Poland
Ambassador of the French Republic to the Republic of Poland. Since 1992, he has held multiple positions with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Ministry of Finance and Foreign Trade. He served as First Secretary in the French Embassy in Moscow, First Secretary and Second Counsellor in the Permanent Representation of France to the OSCE in Vienna, Coordinator of Protocol at the Chancellery of the President of the French Republic, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Tallin and Director of the Diplomatic Protocol in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Frédéric Billet graduated from the French military academy Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan. He holds a DEA degree in military history and national defence from the University of Montpellier as well as a DEA degree and a PhD in Slavic studies from the Paris-Sorbonne University. He was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit.
Ambassador Billet speaks English, Polish, Russian, Estonian, Turkish and Arabic.
H.E. Tomasz Młynarski Ambassador of Poland to France
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco. Ambassador Młynarski is also a political scientist, professor of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, specializing in the fields of contemporary relations and international security, European integration and France's foreign policy.
Ambassador Młynarski graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University. In 2005, he defended his doctoral dissertation on France's position on institutional reform and enlargement of the European Union. Over the course of his academic career, Ambassador Młynarski has also conducted his research at Sciences Po Paris, Sciences Po Rennes and Pantheon-Sorbonne University.