COP24 adopts rules for Paris Agreement

Cristina Cross
December 19, 2018

Among the highlights of this COP, two major industries - the sports and the fashion worlds - joined the movement to align their business practices with the goals of the Paris Agreement, through the launch of the Sports for Climate Action Framework, and the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

"Equity is specifically mentioned in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement".

Mr Kurtyka said that the climate negotiations were not about national interests, but about humanity and responsibility for future generations. Currently, the earth is heading for a warming of at least three degrees.

Most nations wanted the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - which highlighted the need for greenhouse gas emissions to be slashed to almost half by 2030 in order to hit the 1.5C target - to form a key part of future planning.

The talks finally ended with the 133-page Paris rulebook being unanimously adopted in the Polish city of Katowice.

Progress had "been held up by Brazil, when it should have been held up by the small islands".

The final agreement reached late Saturday merely "welcomes" its timely completion and "invites" nations to "make use of the information" it contained.

The two-week-long climate negotiations were scheduled to conclude on Friday with the adoption of the Paris rulebook, but negotiators had been unable to stitch together an agreement despite endless rounds of negotiations and back-room diplomacy.

Countries are now looking to a United Nations summit next September in NY, where Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on national governments to announced new, more stringent targets for reducing GHG emissions.

A senior negotiator said that Brazil had concerns about some of the rules for governing global carbon credit schemes.

During the conference, the United States emphasized its balanced approach to promoting economic growth and protecting the environment, according to the State Department.

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Another stumbling block was a new global pollution rights trading system. But these programmes are not often transparent and hard to monitor.

"Transparency is vital to US interests", added Nathaniel Keohane, a climate policy expert at the Environmental Defence Fund.

"Those rules, known as the 'transparency framework, ' are vital to the success of the Paris Agreement".

"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".

They require all nations, including developing countries, to report details of their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

"Ambition in mitigation. Ambition in adaptation".

Expressing reservation over some issues in the agreement, India's lead negotiator Ravi Shankar Prasad said at the plenary that "India wishes to express its strong reservation regarding the treatment of equity in the global stock-take decision".

The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have refused to "welcome" the IPCC report, angering other countries and environmentalists.

He said ambition will be at the centre of the Climate Summit that he will convene in September 2019.

"The world has changed, the political landscape has changed", she told The Associated Press. "Children around the world, including those who inspired us by their climate strikes this week, will hold countries accountable to do their homework and come prepared to ace the exam on robust climate action".

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