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And many leaders among in the international community are in trouble: the USA has officially withdrawn from the Paris Agreement; former frontrunners within the EU, such as Germany, France or the United Kingdom, are fighting on various domestic political fronts.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.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are currently engaged in vital talks over the dispute relating to the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River. While non-African actors are increasingly present in the negotiations, the African Union (AU) is playing a marginal role.
Climate change was more central than ever at this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC), the leading international forum for senior military, security and foreign policy leaders. The release of the inaugural “World Climate and Security Report 2020” (WCSR 2020) by the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) should help policymakers take effective action.
The mission of the Munich Security Conference is to “address the world’s most pressing security concerns”. These days, that means climate security: climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier, and anyone discussing food security, political instability, migration, or competition over resources should be aware of the climate change pressures that are so often at the root of security problems.
The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action. Indeed, climate change impacts are already increasing the pressure on states and societies; however, it is not yet clear how the EU can engage on climate security and environmental peacemaking. In this light, and in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency, adelphi and its partners are organising a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead”.