H.E. Michał Kurtyka
Minister of Climate and Environment
- Europe’s Sustainable Global Partnerships: Opening Keynote Addresses
Michał Kurtyka, Minister of Climate and Environment of the Republic of Poland
He 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, located near Washington, D.C., 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.