Krynica Forum is a meeting place for experts, politicians and entrepreneurs that plays a key role in shaping the future of the Polish economy.
This year's Forum, held in picturesque Krynica-Zdrój, is particularly important because it focuses on topics related to climate neutrality and energy transition, in which Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa also has a significant stake.
JSW hosted two debates on climate neutrality and energy transition, with a focus on the role of coking coal as a resource necessary to achieve these goals and its own raw materials. The first meeting, attended by Marek Wesoły, secretary of state at the Ministry of State Assets, Prof. Stanisław Prusek, director of the Central Mining Institute (GIG), Prof. Marek Borowski of the AGH University of Science and Technology, and Artur Badylak, director of the office of Methane Drainage and Management Department at JSW, was moderated by Tomasz Cudny, President of the JSW SA Management Board.
“I believe that this debate will contribute to an honest discussion on the shape of our energy future. Every time I emphasize the importance of coking coal as a key factor to achieve climate neutrality goals and providing security for the steel industry. Another important element in our company is the commercial utilization of methane," pointed out Tomasz Cudny, President of the Management Board of JSW SA, a strategic partner of Krynica Forum 2023, "Our modern SLL facility agreement has its ecological overtones. An important part of our company is our environmental strategy. We are aware that we emit greenhouse gases in the form of methane, and this is the most important part of reducing our company's carbon footprint," added President Tomasz Cudny.
The debate was a significant contribution to the discussion on the future of coking coal and low-carbon economy. Attention has repeatedly been paid to reducing methane emissions and its commercial utilization.
“Coal mining globally emits 40 million tons of methane per year, 20 million of which are emitted by China alone. Poland, as far as mining is concerned, is not even in the top ten countries, our annual emissions are about 400 thousand tons of methane," noted Prof. Stanisław Prusek, director of the Central Mining Institute. Deputy Minister Marek Wesoły, in turn, spoke about the special role of JSW - a producer of high-quality coking coal, included in the list of critical raw materials. “Our mining companies have had sufficient environmental awareness for a long time. In my opinion, we are a leader when it comes to methane capture solutions - our methane capture rate is about 40 percent and we have something to be proud of," believes Marek Wesoły, secretary of state at the Ministry of State Assets, and adds: “Regulatory action often lacks consistency. I am in favor of appropriate incentives, this is more effective than penalties. Because on the one hand there is an expectation from many circles for us to change, and on the other hand a system is being devised to impose penalties and taxes, which makes this system more expensive and therefore slower.”
JSW representatives during the three-day conference were participants in a number of meetings. One of the most interesting discussions was about Poland's own raw materials and raw material security.
Participants in the debate included: Robert Ostrowski, Vice-President of the JSW Management Board for Financial Matters, Paweł Sałek, advisor to the President of Poland, Piotr Chęciński of KGHM Polska Miedź and Wojciech Łabus, Associate Partner of KPMG in Poland.
“Paying attention to companies like ours is in the interest of the European Union. The whole climate policy industry is about steel, and that means you need the huge coking coal reserves that JSW has. However, we operate under conditions of limited trust. Everything associated with coal, in the case of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa - wrongly - is considered dirty, bad, unnecessary, and generally to be eliminated. However, such treatment of raw materials may lead to the neglect of this activity," concluded Robert Ostrowski, Vice-President of the JSW Management Board for Financial Matters.