COP 24 Outcomes – CLARA’s View

Countries that signed the UNFCCC Paris Agreement gave themselves three years to develop a structure for measuring and reporting their contributions toward meeting convention goals. The key understand-ing of contributions is in Articles 2 and 3 of the Paris Agreement, with elements on mitigation, adaptation and food security, and the adequacy and predictability of financial flows. 

A ‘Paris Rulebook’ was mostly concluded at COP24 in Katowice, Poland.  Unfortunately, the outcome was unbalanced, and didn’t provide for ambition appropriate to the scale of the climate crisis.  CLARA’s statement from the final hours of COP24 is here.

CLARA members respond

Heinrich Boell Foundation

The Katowice climate package brings minor progress, but COP 24 failed to deliver on the most fundamental issues such as raising ambition of national contributions, implementing human rights, and ensuring support for developing countries.  See report by Don Lehr and Liane Schalatek.

Global Forest Coalition

Souparna Lahiri argued that the Katowice outcomes provide “evidence of just how little a multilateral climate policy influenced by climate deniers and corporate interests can do to respond to the urgent and immediate demand for climate action” and urged for greater focus on “bottom-up climate solutions…bringing in indigenous peoples, women, and vulnerable communities.”  See the GFC blog

Center for International Environmental Law and the Human Rights and Climate Change Working Group summarize what did and did not happen at Katowice on human rights, and where further progress needs to be made, in this report. 

Kate Dooley’s article in The Conversation focuses on how a stronger Paris Rulebook would push greater ambition in meeting the <2°C target, and why the Katowice outcomes aren’t up to the task. 

ActionAid

Brandon Wu focuses on climate finance outcomes from Katowice in this Reuters article.

Article 2 of the Paris Agreement

1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

2. This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

Article 3 of the Paris Agreement

As nationally determined contributions to the global response to climate change, all Parties are to undertake and communicate ambitious efforts… with the view to achieving the purpose of this Agreement as set out in Article 2. The efforts of all Parties will represent a progression over time, while recognizing the need to support developing country Parties for the effective implementation of this Agreement. 

Finally, at COP24 the Polish Presidency of the COP released a Ministerial Declaration on Forests.  CLARA welcomed our hosts’ attention to forests, but expressed concern about elements of the Declaration at a 12 December press event in Katowice.  See our Press Release about the Declaration. 

Definitions and structures for carbon markets, and the trading of ‘mitigation obligations’ found in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, weren’t decided in Katowice.  Article 6 work will be a major focus on CLARA in 2019 negotiations (SBSTA 50 in June, and COP25 in November).   CLARA members are also engaged in the Agriculture work stream.   Check CLARA’s UNFCCC Negotiations page for updates and new links.