But former environment Minister Jan Szyszko, who was previously elected President of the conference, insisted that he intended to continue playing this role, adding that changing the President without international consent could be a violation of UN rules.
The COP 24 conference will be held in the southern Polish city of Katowice, and a representative of the Polish government will preside over the event.
Kurtyka is a deputy energy minister who “is directly responsible for technological development and for introducing innovation in the energy sector as well as for the implementation of climate and energy policy in the fuel and gas sector,” his ministry has said in a statement.
Ex-environment minister objects
Meanwhile, former Environment Minister Szyszko has issued a statement in which he signalled that he objected to the new appointment, according to money.pl.
Szyszko said he himself intended to preside over the conference following his selection for the role at a previous climate change conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany, in November last year, the money.pl website reported.
Szyszko indicated that he believed his appointment as president of the COP 24 conference remained valid even though he has since lost his post as Poland’s environment minister.
As is the case with the UN secretary-general, the post goes to an individual rather than to a person in his capacity as an official of a given country, he added.
He also said that appointing a new chair for the conference required international consultation and the consent of countries that approved the original appointment. “Otherwise we will be dealing with a violation of UN rules,” he said.
Szyszko lost his post as environment minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in January. He was replaced by Henryk Kowalczyk.