Coal and Climate Summit—Well outside of the Climate Conference here, at the Polish Ministry of Economy, the International Coal and Climate Summit was taking place, oddly juxtaposing a conference that was seeking to address climate change with one aiming to ensure the vitality of an industry that is a major contributor to the problem. NGOs were livid that such a conference would take place while the COP was taking place, and they were not happy that Christiana Figueres agreed to speak to the coal industry.

But she did speak today, and told the coal executives that coal energy loads the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, competes for water and impacts public health, the call of science has already been answered by a wide gamut of stakeholders. “All of this tells me that the coal industry faces a business continuation risk that you can no longer afford to ignore. Like any other industry, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your workforce and your shareholders. Like any other industry, you are subject to the major political, economic and social shifts of our time. And by now it should be abundantly clear that further capital expenditures on coal can go ahead only if they are compatible with the two degree Celsius limit.” How did the speech go over? “I heard applause,” she told a press conference later.

Electric utilities see rough road to low carbon economy—More than three-quarters of the world’s electricity generating capacity will come from fossil fuels in 2020, according to a new survey of utilities conducted by the World Energy Council and unveiled here in Warsaw today. By 2035, that number should come down to about 44 per cent. In the past, says Phillipe Joubert of the Council, the problem was financing for a new, cleaner energy project. “Today, there is capital,” he says, “but there are not enough eligible projects to finance. About three-quarters of the utilities say that renewable energy, while it could be a solution, is still not there. The message from the utilities is that there wasn’t a clear, stable, and credible price for carbon dioxide, and policies. 47% say they are exploring carbon capture and sequestration technologies but don’t see it as commercially viable. And utilities also report that they are adapting to climate change, particularly those who operate hydroelectric plants, who are finding that new vagaries of the water cycle are impacting electricity generation.”

Getting ready for the High-Level Ministerial Meeting—After a week of exchanging views and positions, delegates are now ready to send all the open questions and issues to their higher-ups. There will be the main ministerial meeting and there will be high-level dialogues on finance and a plethora of meetings of business, city mayors, and a series of events designed to showcase projects that are making a difference around the world, Momentum for Change. Preparations moved into high gear today before the UN Secretary-General and all the ranking ministers to arrive tomorrow.