COP 24 in Katowice, Poland.
Photo: © cop24.gov.pl

COP24 – Time to act

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) opened in early December with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

“This year is likely to be one of the four hottest years on record. Greenhouses gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at record levels and emissions continue to rise. Climate change impacts have never been worse. This reality is telling us that we need to do much more – COP24 needs to make that happen,” said Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s Climate Chief at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP24, which started on the 2nd December 2018, in Katowice, Poland.

Until the 14th December representatives of 196 countries and the European Union are to work on reaching an agreement concerning goals set three years ago in the Paris Agreement. The parties are aiming to finalise a detailed set of rules and guidelines –the so-called Paris ‘work programme' or 'rule book' – which will enable the landmark accord to be put into practice all around the world.

The guidelines are to provide clarity on how to implement the Paris Agreement fairly and transparently for all. Specifically, they will strengthen international co-operation by ensuring that national contributions to the global effort are transparent, responsibility is shared fairly and progress on reducing emissions and building resilience can be accurately measured.

A finalised set of implementation guidelines will unleash practical climate actions with respect to all the targets and goals of the Paris Agreement, including adapting to climate change impacts, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing financial and other support to developing countries. Six months after the 2015 Paris Summit, the negotiations on the implementation guidelines were launched, and COP24 was set as the deadline. 

Concluding the Talanoa Dialogue

COP24 will also conclude the year-long, Fiji-led Talanoa Dialogue, the first-ever international conversation of its kind to assess progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, including that of limiting global temperature increases.

One of the Dialogue’s aims is to find practical and local solutions for how countries can increase their ambition in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which describe their individual efforts to reduce national emissions.

During the high-level event that is to conclude the Talanoa Dialogue, Ministers will consider the IPCC’s 1.5ºC  report and its relevance in the context of future actions.

Katowice Partnership for e-mobility 

Poland together with the UK presented on 4th December the Declaration on E-mobility – Driving Change Together – Katowice Partnership for Electromobility. The Declaration was already joined by 38 countries from five continents, as well as international organisations, representing over 1,500 cities and regions, but also 1,200 companies.

In order to fully implement the Partnership, a dedicated e-mobility trust fund will be established in co-operation with the World Bank. Signatories of the agreement declare their willingness to support the development of the e-mobility sector, exchange of experience and scientific collaboration at the global and local level.

Over the last 30 years, a real automotive revolution has taken place in Poland. In 2017, the number of vehicles exceeded 22 million, according to the Central Vehicle Register. This rapid increase is an example of dynamic economic development – but also a serious challenge for the environment. The problem is also global. The process of expansion of urban agglomerations and megacities is observed in all corners of the Earth – by 2050, more than two thirds of the population will be living in urban areas.

(UNFCCC/cop24.gov.pl/ile)

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