COP24 Family photo with leaders | Photo by Esra Sergi, UN DPI

Why Katowice? — Katowice may be well known in the region—in fact, it is the capital of the Silesian region.  But it is not a city whose name rolls of the tongue of many world travelers.  So why would Katowice want to host a climate change conference that will attract 30,000 people over a two-week span?

COP President Michal Kurtyka asked the same question out loud during the opening.  The story, he explained, goes back to the 12th Century when the region was settled, and an abundance of minerals  were found—salt, coal, silver and gold.  The local economy became a mining-based economy, and eventually, he said, this came to an end, not because there was nothing left, but because technology and the world had moved on.

In fact, the COP President, the President of Poland, and the Mayor, all made a point of mentioning that the very site of COP24 used to be a coal mine.  The point is, that things change, but that change has to be in keeping with the circumstances of a particular location.  In this case, it is coal country.

The Climate Terminator — Arnold Schwarzenegger came to town to open the Climate Action Hub here in Katowice, the place where discussions will be held on action—what is going on. Speaking to a packed crowd, the actor and former California Governor said: “Nobody is more expert in action than me because I’ve made a lot of action movies. But, movies are movies and we live in the real world, where things are more serious.”

“It’s all about action,” he said. Citing an example from California, he said California reached the goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 25 per cent this year, ahead of the 2020 deadline. “That’s what I call action”.

Cool Social Media tool to promote Climate Action — So you want to help save the planet but don’t know how? Now there’s a bot for that. is the United Nations’ new campaign to help people around the world take collective climate action.

The renowned broadcaster Sir David Attenborough took center stage at today’s opening to launch the  bot, which harnesses advances in artificial intelligence to give people the power to make a difference.

The tool, created with the support of Facebook and advertising company Grey, comes with a fully interactive and responsive chat bot, located on the UN’s Facebook page that suggests everyday actions to preserve the environment.

Actions are determined by the users’ interaction and will help people learn about ways to reduce their carbon footprint. What’s more, users can share their climate action with friends and show how they’re making an impact.

Feeling inspired? Open on Facebook Messenger and start saving the world.