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Actions for compliance with the Paris Agreement will be negotiated at the Katowice summit

Actions for compliance with the Paris Agreement will be negotiated at the Katowice summit

From Monday and for the next 15 daysmeet in Katowice international negotiators to finalize the necessary tools to comply with the Paris Agreement.

In December 2015, the Paris Agreement was closed, a document that left the mandate to define the necessary tools. This lack of specificity was not an impediment for this agreement to become the one that has been signed the fastest by most of the international community. The countries at that time seemed willing to limit the increase in global temperature by 2 ° C and, if possible, below 1.5 ° C, as stipulated in Article 4 of the Paris Agreement.

Negotiations began in 2016 at the Marrakech Summit, when the United Nations Framework Convention was opened for the first time under the Paris Agreement (CMA1). At this summit, it was noted that the evaluation of the commitments presented led us to a global warming of more than 3.5 ºC, so it was necessary to increase the commitments. This prompted a parallel dialogue process to unify positions, known as the Talanoa Dialogue.

The lack of progress forced the holding of an additional meeting in September in Bangkok, where some fundamental discussions were addressed that made clear the difference between countries of the global north and south. The result of the summit has been a set of documents totaling 300 pages. They include all the assessments, comments and objections that the countries have expressed during this week of negotiations. Regarding these documents, the presidencies must make proposals for texts that must be approved during COP24.

Key steps

Betting "on the green economy, not on the gray of the charred economy" is the key, remarked during the inauguration, António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations. We must "mobilize resources as soon as possible to mitigate the advance of climate change," he urged the delegates present and emphasized the "economic opportunity that the transition to an economic model that respects the environment supposes."

"We are not doing enough to capitalize on the enormous social, economic and environmental opportunities that climate action represents," said Guterres, who like the rest of the United Nations staff wants to convey to global society the message that a change to the green economy is something positive that will generate new avenues of business, employment and well-being.

An ambiguous speech

Andrzej Duda, president of the host country, Poland, maintained a more ambiguous speech in which he agrees to join the fight against climate change but without limiting the national sovereignty of each country and its disposition over its own energy resources.

"The use of our own natural resources, in the case of Poland of coal, and the energy security that this brings us is not in conflict with climate protection and with the move towards a more active climate policy," said Duda during his intervention before the plenary session, where he distanced himself from the rest of the leaders who bet seamlessly to reduce the use of fuels such as coal.

Leadership opportunity

For the deputy director of the global climate and energy program of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Vanesa Pérez, "these types of appointments give countries the opportunity to take leadership", so she hopes that the Polish government "begins to change their discourse and launch very clear messages aimed at reducing emissions and a cleaner economy ”.

Expectations aside, this summit "will only be a success if it is possible to agree on the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, with a written commitment from the countries to have their national actions reviewed before 2020," Pérez emphasizes.

The SR1.5 report

This meeting, which is preceded by the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change over 1.5 ºC, which awaits the adoption of its conclusions by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Inthis report known as SR1.5, the IPCC is especially critical of the international community and affirms that the commitments of the Paris Agreement "are superior to any scenario compatible with limiting the global temperature by 1.5ºC."

For Javier Andaluz, Climate and Energy coordinator at Ecologistas en Acción, “the 1.5 ºC report clearly shows that the time to act is running out. The international community has no possible justification to slow down the climate fight, ignoring the urgency of obtaining robust tools capable of starting the reduction of global emissions immediately ”. Andaluz adds that "given that the deadline is running out, all the necessary tools should come out of the Katowice summit without postponing any debate, as has been happening since the adoption of the Paris Agreement."

With information from:

Video: COP24 - The road to Katowice: Changing together for a just energy transition (November 2020).