The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Republic of Poland have joined together to establish an International Centre of Excellence (ICE) on Coal Mine Methane. Operated by the UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane and hosted by Poland’s Central Mining Institute (Główny Instytut Górnictwa, GIG), the ICE will act as a clearinghouse and training center for the entire region. The ICE will broadly engage coal mining stakeholders and the general public, in order to raise awareness about opportunities for methane mitigation and distribute best practices for the capture and reuse of methane from the entire coal sector, from production to final use.
“The centre will put Poland on the map of climate change mitigation efforts. It is time for action. Onsite training that provides concrete, hands-on learning experience is needed to translate good practices into tangible results. We invite all United Nations Member States that exploit coal mines to benefit from the expertise of the centre.”
-Jerzy Pietrewicz, State Secretary, Ministry of Economy, Poland
In May 2015, U.S. EPA GMI Coal Subcommittee Co-Chair Felicia Ruiz and the Chair and Secretariat of the UNECE Group of Experts on CMM met with representatives of the Polish Ministries of Economy, Treasury and Foreign Affairs to advance development of the ICE. Following up on that work, on 2 November 2015 UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach and Jerzy Pietrewicz of Poland’s Ministry of the Economy signed a Memorandum of Understanding formally creating the ICE.