COP24: Key Outcomes

COP24 annual UN climate conference concluded on Friday evening in Katowice, Poland, and we want to comment the outcomes.

The agreed ‘Katowice Climate Package’ is designed to operationalize the climate change regime contained in the Paris Agreement as it includes guidelines that will operationalize the framework by setting out how countries will provide information about their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which includes mitigation and adaptation measures as well as details of financial support for climate action in developing countries.

The main issues from COP24 still to be resolved concern the use of cooperative approaches, as well as the sustainable development mechanism, as contained in the Paris Agreement’s Article 6. The Article 6 would allow countries to meet a part of their domestic mitigation goals through the use of so-called “market mechanisms”.

In this aspect, specifically Article 6.4, intends to replace the Kyoto Protocol’s “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM) for carbon offsets and the main discussion was centred on how or whether to carry forward the offsets, schemes and methodologies drawn up under the CDM – and whether to place limits on their use for meeting pledges under the Paris Agreement.

There were also arguments around how double counting relates to emissions cuts taking place in sectors not covered by a country’s climate pledge (“outside” the NDC, as opposed to “inside” it). These matters appear to have been unresolved as of the end of COP24 and governments look set to resume talks next year at the COP25 in Chile on a framework for international emissions trade under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6.

IETA Observations

Also we want to publish here IETA observations of the negotiations in Katowice. IETA explains in the report published on their website that more than two weeks of tough negotiations in the city of Katowice reached agreement on the bulk of a plan to implement the Paris Agreement. It is being hailed as a major landmark for transparency and reporting, but it failed to agree on the chapter governing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Despite several days of talks at ministerial level, the impasse could not be broken, and Article 6 decisions were set aside, to be revisited in 2019.

The only positive market provision in the Katowice Package is a basic reporting provision for market transfers, found in the Transparency rules for Article 13 (paragraph 77). Even this section relies on the more detailed guidance that is still incomplete.

According to IETA, The key outcomes from the two weeks include:

-The Paris Agreement Rule Book, which elaborates rules governing the reporting of emissions, regular stocktakes on progress in mitigation, adaptation, financial flows, addressing loss and damage, and a commitment to boost the ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

-Formal acknowledgement of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Special Report on Pathways to 1.5°C.

-Conclusion of the Talanoa Dialogue, the year-long process of sharing stories and experiences that was designed to build trust and confidence in the multilateral approach and encourage ambition.

-A proposal by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to convene a Climate Summit in September 2019.

-A mandate for the chair of the SBSTA to continue negotiations over the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

-Agreement to meet in Chile for COP25, although the date and specific venue are still uncertain.

You can download the full report here



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