COP24: urgency, opportunity and ambition

COP24 will be held in Katowice from 3 to 14 December 2018. 

Three years after securing the historic Paris Agreement, negotiators have two key tasks in Poland. First, they must agree the so-called ‘Paris Rulebook’, which is essential to giving full effect to the agreement, and second, they need to deliver a clear political signal and work plan for ratcheting up collective climate ambition in 2020.

The two tasks are interconnected. Without agreement on key issues such as the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework to track progress against commitments, or the rules for accounting of emissions, countries will lack both the means and the necessary political trust to commit to greater action in 2020.

To complicate matters, this year’s COP takes place against the backdrop of an uncertain international political landscape and the stark and alarming findings from the recent IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C of global warming.

Katowice is an appropriate setting for turning this potential into reality. As capital of Silesia – one of Poland’s key coal regions – it needs to find a pathway that moves it from a high to low carbon economy over the coming decades. It is perhaps with this imperative in mind that the Polish government has chosen to focus the non-negotiating agenda at COP on three key areas: the ‘Just Transition’, electric vehicles, and forestry.

As negotiators and ministers prepare for COP it is more important than ever that their work is informed and driven by the efforts of increasing numbers of business, state, regional and city leaders. In Katowice, national governments have the opportunity – and responsibility – to join these leaders to ensure that 2018 truly is the year of stepping up.

Read more on The Climate Group website.

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In a week’s time government negotiators and ministers, along with leaders from civil society, business and subnational governments will gather in Katowice, Poland, for the 24th annual UN climate conference, otherwise known as COP24.

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