The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland, 2-14 December 2018

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Publication Date December 2018
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COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aiming at Preventing “dangerous” human interference with the climate system is the ultimate aim of the UNFCCC.  The 2018 UN climate change conference (COP24) was held from 2 to 14 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland.

The main objective of the Polish Presidency at COP24 is to adopt a decision ensuring full implementation of the Paris Agreement (the so-called implementation package - the Katowice Rules). The implementation package will give the Paris Agreement a realistic shape by setting out a path that each country will decide to follow in terms of intensifying its climate protection efforts. Until the 14th of December representatives of 196 countries and the EU worked on reaching an agreement concerning goals set three years ago in the Paris Agreement. It was the third time that Poland is the host of a UN Climate Conference.

The Conference announced success on 15 December with nearly 200 countries signing up to a 156-page rulebook for implementing the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change.

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The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the UNFCCC Convention. It consists of the representatives of the Parties to the Convention. It holds its sessions every year. The COP takes decisions which are necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of the Convention and regularly reviews the implementation of these provisions.

During COP24, the Polish Presidency plans to focus its attention on three key topics:

  • technology - to show that there are climate-friendly modern solutions, such as electromobility allowing for sustainable urban development, clean air and an opportunity for modern jobs,
  • human - emphasizing the need to lead change together with people through the solidarity and fair transformation of regions and industrial sectors,
  • nature - including multifunctional and sustainable forest management as part of climate neutrality and the role of forests as greenhouse gas sinks, and support for a synergic view of the three UN key conventions: on climate, on biodiversity and on desertification.

The ambition of the Polish Presidency is to adopt rules and tools that will create a systemic solution for the whole world, replacing the point-based discussion on fragmented objectives, which doesn’t allow for a comprehensive approach to all important areas of emissions (such as transport, energy, buildings, agriculture), removals balancing emissions (forests, soils), implementation measures (including financing) and measures to adapt economies to expected changes in the future (the so-called adaptation measures).

The Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration has been adopted to support the social aspect of the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Over 40 countries have supported the Katowice Partnership for Electromobility declaration-a joint initiative of Poland and Great Britain dedicated to the development of electric transport. The “Forests for Climate” Katowice Ministerial Declaration has been accepted, aiming at achieving a balance between anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C. It entered into force on 4 November 2016. 195 UNFCCC Parties have signed the Agreement and 184 have now ratified it.

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Commentary and Analysis
The Guardian, 16.12.18: The Guardian view on COP24: while climate talks continue, there is hope

Politico, 10.12.18: A difficult home stretch for the Katowice COP24 climate talks
The Guardian, 12.12.18: Climate change talks lead to heightened pledge to cut emissions
Politico, 04.12.18: 5 factors that will make or break the COP24 climate summit
EurActiv, 11.12.18: Europe stuck on climate ambition at COP24
BBC News, 14.12.18: Climate change: 'Hell to pay' if COP24 talks fail
CNN World, 07.12.18: COP24: Can leaders agree to climate rules in time?
BBC News, 16.12.18: Katowice: COP24 Climate change deal to bring pact to life
The Guardian, 16.12.18: What was agreed at COP24 in Poland and why did it take so long?
Euronews, 15.12.18: COP24 annouces agreement in Katowice

European Commission: Katowice climate change conference (COP 24)
United Nations: Katowice Climate Change Conference – December 2018
COP 24 Katowice 2018: Presidency
COP 24 Katowice 2018 News, 03.12.2018: Climate Conference in Katowice officially launched
COP 24 Katowice 2018 News, 08.12.2018: President of COP24: 'We are closing the week of technical negotiations'
COP 24 Katowice 2018: Vision of the Polish presidency of COP24
European Commission: Press Release, 03.12.18: UN climate change conference in Katowice - questions and answers
COP 24: Success of COP24 in Katowice – we have a global climate agreement
European Commission: Press release, 16.12.18: UN Climate talks: EU plays instrumental role in making the Paris Agreement operational

ESO Records
ESO: Report on the EU and the Paris Climate Agreement: Taking stock of progress at Katowice COP

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