January 19, 2019

United Nations climate talks in Poland go into overtime

18 December 2018, 05:15 | Ross Houston

India Expresses "Strong Reservation" On Paris Climate Talks Rulebook

COP24: Nations agree on global climate pact rules after impasse

"In Katowice, the USA negotiators have played a central role in the talks, helping to broker an outcome that is true to the Paris vision of a common transparency framework for all countries that also provides flexibility for those that need it", said Keohane, calling the agreement "a vital step forward in realizing the promise of the Paris accord". "Without immediate action, even the strongest rules will not get us anywhere".

While presenting the Kenyan experience in climate change management, Tobiko disclosed that the local (Kenyan) economy is shedding more than 2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to climate change.

"This is morally unacceptable and they must now carry with them the outrage of people and come to the UN Secretary General's summit in 2019 with higher climate action targets", the Greenpeace director added. In the months leading up to the meeting, a series of reports from the world's scientists showed that global emissions are not just continuing to rise, but that nations are not on track to limit the rise of global temperatures enough to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

India said the guidance on Nationally Determined Contributions preserves the nationally determined nature of NDCs and provides for Parties to submit different types of contributions including adaptation.

Nations pressing for urgent action also sought language in the final "COP decisions" that would highlight the need to boost financing beyond climate-specific sectors such as development of renewables or efficiency improvements in buildings.

Under the rulebook, the participating countries shall update their voluntary goals of carbon emission reduction by 2020 with the pledges by the countries reviewed at a United Nations climate summit to be held in September 2019.

The agreed guidelines mean that countries can now establish the national systems that are needed for implementing the Paris Agreement starting from 2020. The same will be done at the worldwide level.

He said a lack of agreement in Katowice would only worsen the situation.

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Earlier, the talks became deadlocked over the monitoring of carbon credits to reduce emissions, in negotiations which have already overrun.

Last-minute snags forced negotiators in Katowice to go into extra time, after Friday's scheduled end of the conference had passed without a deal.

The schedule for the closing plenary, when sparks could fly among nations if there are issues in the text still open to opposition, has been repeatedly pushed back to later in the day - a sign a more diplomacy work needs to be done.

Right now more than one hundred ministers and more than a thousand negotiators from around the world are hammering out the so-called "Paris Rulebook" that will define how Paris agreement pledges will be put into action.

At the conference, delegates clashed over financing, with poorer countries most affected by climate change demanding recognition of the damage that it causes and asking for long-term financial support.

"Unfortunately, in the end, the differences could not be overcome".

They claimed that the basic principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) such as equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDRRC) and matters agreed in the Paris accord, including on finance, have not been reflected in the draft text.

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