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The Katowice Climate Conference Adopts a Rule-Book to Implement the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement

Tuesday, 29 January 2019
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland was convened from 2 to 14 December 2018.It involved a number of events, including 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC and the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). Over 1,300 participants attended the Conference, including governmental officials and representatives from UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, non-governmental organizations, scientific community, academia and the media. The cardinal objective of the Katowice Climate Conference was to finalize the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP).

After two weeks of intense diplomatic efforts, the delegates concluded with the so-called 'Katowice Climate Package' which constitutes a solid roadmap which aims to operationalize the climate change regime established in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. More specifically, the Katowice Climate Package puts in place a set of practical implementation guidelines needed to track progress and ensure that climate action is transparent. In particular, the Katowice Climate Package lays out how the Member States are to develop and report on their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It also establishes a process to determine a collective finance goal for the period after 2025, building upon the current target of mobilizing USD 100 billion per year from 2020 to support developing countries. Moreover, the package includes guidelines on how to conduct the Global Stocktake (GST) of the effectiveness of climate action in 2023 and how to assess progress on the development and transfer of technology.

The President of COP24, Mr. Michal Kurtyka of Poland, said: “All nations have worked tirelessly. All nations showed their commitment. All nations can leave Katowice with a sense of pride, knowing that their efforts have paid off. The guidelines contained in the Katowice Climate Package provide the basis for implementing the agreement as of 2020”.

The UN’s Climate Chief, Ms. Patricia Espinosa said: “This is an excellent achievement! The multilateral system has delivered a solid result. This is a roadmap for the international community to decisively address climate change”. “The guidelines that delegations have been working on day and night are balanced and clearly reflect how responsibilities are distributed amongst the world’s nations”, she said. “They incorporate the fact that countries have different capabilities and economic and social realities at home, while providing the foundation for ever increasing ambition”, she added.

The main issues still to be resolved concern the use of cooperative approaches, as well as the sustainable development mechanism, as contained in the Paris Agreement’s article 6. These would allow countries to meet a part of their domestic mitigation goals through the use of so-called “market mechanisms”.

The next step for the negotiators is to to finalise the details for market mechanisms in in view of adopting them at the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP25).

Sources: UNFCCC
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