Almost 200 states have agreed on measures to limit global warming in Katowice, Poland, after a two-week marathon of negotiations. The state representatives participating at the Conference of the Parties (COP24) agreed on a 156-page rulebook on Saturday night, listing measures and controls to limit the global rise in average temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius.
International climate policy has once again gotten away with it. With the conclusion of Katowice the implementation of the Paris Agreement can be continued and the long-prepared Rule Book has also been adopted.
But far-reaching announcements to increase the ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are still lacking. The members of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) have a great piece of work in front of them to revive the spirit of cooperation of the Paris Agreement. The accounts in this regard will be settled at the United Nations Climate Summit scheduled for the 23 September 2019 in New York.
And many leaders among in the international community are in trouble: the USA has officially withdrawn from the Paris Agreement; former frontrunners within the EU, such as Germany, France or the United Kingdom, are fighting on various domestic political fronts. Major emerging economies such as China and India are not yet willing to fill this gap and to completely leave behind early fronts between industrialised and developing countries.
However, the 24th Climate Conference has also showcased encouraging dynamic climate policy development in numerous countries and at the subnational level. Local governments claim a leading role in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and will meet in Heidelberg in early summer to underpin this role.
In other words, Paris is effective in Katowice, Poland, even without symbolic successes in the negotiations.
The report, requested by the US Congress in 2017, drew sharp criticism for being too thin on details and failing to show which bases are most at risk across the military.
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.
Brazil has demoted climate diplomacy as part of a foreign ministry shake-up, in Jair Bolsonaro’s first two weeks as president.
In some areas of the world, including Central America, rising sea levels and declining agricultural productivity due to climate change are expected to trigger major migratory flows, especially within countries. The role of policy-makers is it to promote local solutions while engaging in regional cooperation for a preventative approach.