COP24 diary – day #11

(EurActiv, 14 Dec 2018) Over this special series on COP24, EURACTIV gives you a glimpse into the goings on of the UN climate conference in Katowice and what is driving the conversation there. In this edition: climate ambition at last, UN Secretary-General pounding on the table, Portugal getting carbon neutral, 630 brackets, and more.

Finally talking about ambition. Exactly three years after the world first ever treaty on climate change was adopted by all 195 parties (COP21, 12 December 2015), the coalition of countries who played a pivotal role that year reestablished itself on the eve of the crucial next 48 hours.

Gathered in the European pavillion, Ministers for the Environment from Grenada, Ethiopia, Germany, Norway, EU, Canada, Switzerland, Argentina, Denmark, Colombia said it was not acceptable for them to leave the Katowice without a decision that welcomes the IPCC 1.5 report and a decision on Talanoa Dialogue.

In the document, the signatories stated that they are determined to step up their ambition by 2020, in line with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. They will achieve this through increasing their climate pledges, the so-called Nationally Determined Contributions, increasing short term action and long-term low emission development strategies.

Get on with it. Earlier on, in the afternoon, UN Secretary-General António Guterres diplomatically pounded the negotiating table, urging delegates to get on with it.

“I left Katowice hopeful, but uncertain. While I was away, three more reports were added to the long list of warnings signals: a Special WHO report on impacts to health due to climate change; a UN Environment Programme report which highlights the opportunities for reducing emissions in the construction sector; and NASA’s research on the first signs of significant melting of glaciers in East Antarctica. Returning to Katowice, I see that despite some progress in the negotiating texts much remains to be done,” Guterres  said.

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EurActiv, 14 Dec 2018: COP24 diary – day #11