Michal Kurtyka, former president of COP24 Michal Kurtyka, former president of COP24 

G20: 5 Ps to guide the path to integral development

Michal Kurtyka, the first Polish minister of the environment, illustrates the 5P concept of people, planet, partnerships, prosperity and peace as central on the path toward economic growth and development.

By Benedict Mayaki

The G20 meetings in Bali Indonesia saw the heads of the most advanced economies in the world gather together to jointly promote policy that sets the world on the path of sustainable and integral development.

Underscoring the need for common action, the leaders focused on Global Health Architecture, Sustainable Energy Transition, and Digital Transformation, against the backdrop of the multidimensional challenges, particularly the geopolitical and economic tensions flowing from the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The leaders jointly adopted a declaration that restated their commitment to promoting positive action across different dimensions of society – climate, education, food and water security, healthcare, to mention a few.

On the sidelines of one of the many events of the G20, Vatican News spoke to Michel Kurtyka, the former president of COP 24 and first minister of climate in Poland who upheld the concept of 5P’s as a guide to the progress and development of society.

Kurtyka works with several countries on issues concerning climate, energy and the environment and supported Egypt for COP27, as well as Indonesia in the organization of the G20 and B20 meetings.

Michal Kurtyka visiting a village in Lombok island
Michal Kurtyka visiting a village in Lombok island

Born of a desire to respond to challenges

He explained that the concept of 5 Ps is the result of a “gradual process of understanding” that he and other intellectuals arrived at under the leadership of Pope Francis, when they considered the current state of the world.

Kurtyka noted that they started from considering two dimensions – environmental and social – aware that genuine growth of the global economy has to look beyond mere personal profit and profitability towards global issues of the climate, biodiversity, forestry and emission, among others. Thus, the first P was created - Planet

On the social level, he explained that the larger social impacts of globalization also has implications for the small communities behind it and these people should not be forgotten in the midst of capitalism and search for profit by big companies. This led to the second P – People.

Next, inspired by a desire for change in the world, they observed that large meetings like the COP27 or G20 are often “top-down”, focusing on the big leaders and placing the spotlight on their efforts. On the contrary, “bottom-up” partnerships impact people better and requires their partnership, including partnerships (the third P) between regions and countries that may not even know much about each other.

As the world continues to strive to find solutions to problems, including energy, food and water security, technologies capable of responding to challenges are beginning to emerge and these can contribute to providing at least a minimum level of prosperity for countries that are still developing. In this regard, a new prosperity (the 4th P) based on science can facilitate change.

Finally, all of these, Kurtyka underlines, is not possible without solidarity and dialogue which can lead us toward peace, the final P.


Inspired by Laudato si’

“I'm very proud that it is a concept which is symbolically somehow taking roots in church doctrine in Laudato Si, and in thinking about making the world a better place in the spirit of integral human development,” he declared.

Kurtyka further explained that two weeks before the G20 Meeting, he had a meeting with Pope Francis, together with the chair of the B20 (business 20 meeting). They presented the 5P concept to the Pope and he urged them to go on with it.

Thus, the Indonesian presidency of the G20 provided a good opportunity to highlight this concept of 5Ps, and the country also takes up president of ASEAN (the association of south east Asia Nations host to boot.

Kurtyka acknowledges that this is not going to be an easy ride, but “if we have people of good faith, people of values, thinking about the future of the world,” we can emerge from a place of chaos and emerge in better shape.



18 November 2022, 13:02