COP24 starts today, the IPCC has published new scientific evidence on the devastating impacts of climate change, the probability that those changes will be manageable are decreasing, and, once again, there is a stalemate in international climate negotiations. Time is running out fast - or more appropriately, as UNFCCC Executive Secretary Espinosa stressed, time is a luxury we no longer have. So, actually the question is how soon is now?
Or, in other words, can we turn our attention during the climate conference more towards the approaches that the climate community is already delivering on today instead of getting lost in the details of the “Paris Rulebook”, which should be one of the major outcomes of the negotiations in Katowice?
No doubt, the rules to be agreed will be another milestone in the young history of the Paris Agreement, but it requires some fantasy to imagine how more than 300 pages of draft text can be transformed into a document to guide implementation. In the meantime, it may be worth watching out for some good news on the negotiations corridors in Poland about the ideas needed to flesh out the Paris architecture.
This is especially important looking to 2019 when countries need to come up with ambitious ideas for their updated emission reductions pledges to contribute to closing the emissions gap outlined by the just published UNEP report: “According to scenarios factoring in current policy and NDC’s, global emissions are not estimated to peak by 2030, let alone by 2020.” Another reason to point out that action now does really mean now - and not soon.
At COP24, India-based Sheela Patel from SPARC talked to Lou del Bello about how climate change affects people in informal settlements the most – and about strategies to address their special needs.
Climate change has been identified and recognized as a security issue and a threat multiplier by the international community, and climate security is now an integral part of security agendas in key international fora from New York to The Hague and Munich. As 2019 kicks off, action and implementation on climate security take centre stage.
Initiated in 2015, the French Ministry for the Armed Forces organized the first international conference “Defence and climate: what are the stakes?”. Since then, the Ministry has been constantly adapting and developing its capacity of anticipation.
On 25 January 2019, the UN Security Council held an open debate to discuss the security implications of climate-related disaster events. The meeting, initiated by the Dominican Republic, underscored the global nature of climate-related disasters. Most speakers highlighted the need for better climate risk management as an important contribution to safeguarding international peace and security. The debate marks the beginning of a year in which climate security ranks high on the UN’s agenda.