UN climate conference hammers out rulebook for implementing Paris Agreement
Negotiators from nearly 200 countries on Saturday agreed on a package of the implementation guidelines, or a common rulebook of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
The 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), stretched beyond official closing time on Friday evening and overran deep into Saturday in the southern Polish city of Katowice.
This was not an easy task. It was hard and daunting, but they pushed it through, said Michal Kurtyka, president of the COP24 and state secretary of Poland's Ministry of Energy.
The agreed "Katowice Climate Package" includes guidelines that will operationalize the transparency framework, setting out how countries will provide information about their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that describe their domestic climate actions.
The rulebook spells out mitigation and adaptation measures as well as details of financial support for climate action in developing countries.
The package also includes guidelines that relate to the process for establishing new targets on finance from 2025 onwards to follow-on from the current target of mobilizing 100 billion U.S. dollars per year from 2020 to support developing countries.
The guidelines also include how to assess progress on the development and transfer of technology to developing countries to help them adapt to climate challenges.
Under the rulebook, the participating countries shall update their voluntary goals of carbon emission reduction by 2020 with the pledges by the countries reviewed at a UN climate summit to be held in September 2019.
Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change affairs, said the comprehensive, balanced and strong package of guidelines adopted by the conference laid a policy foundation for implementing the Paris Agreement.
The conference marked the success and effectiveness of multilateralism, Xie said.
"This indicates that multilateralism is effective, and we need multilateralism to solve global issues. So we think this conference is successful and we have successfully fulfilled our task assigned by our country," said Xie.
The COP24 has been deemed the most important climate meeting since 2015 when the Paris Agreement was produced with the goal of capping global warming at two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while pursuing the even tougher goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The UN climate conference came as latest reports show that climate challenges remain undeterred and global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high in 2018.
A report by the World Meteorological Organization shows that the impacts of the long-term global warming trend remains undeterred in 2018, following the 20 warmest years recorded in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.