Nations agree on Paris Agreement rulebook, fail on climate ambition

(EurActiv, 16 Dec 2018) Three years and three days after the Paris Agreement was adopted, the 197 signatory countries gathered in Katowice, Poland, agreed Saturday (15 December) on a rulebook for its implementation but failed to raise their ambition to keep global warming “well below 2°C”.

After the final plenary session was postponed six times, delegations finally agreed Saturday evening on the rulebook – the set of rules that makes the Paris Agreement operative – putting an end to thirteen days of tense negotiation at the 24th conference of the parties (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

If countries could agree on common binding rules to enhance transparency, they postponed the carbon market section of the rulebook – article 6 – until 2019 and chose to “recognise”, instead of “welcoming”, the 1.5°C report by the Intergovernmental on Climate Change (IPCC), which was supposed to form the backbone of the climate negotiations.

They also reiterated what the Paris Agreement already stated, namely that governments will update their climate plans by 2020 and agreed to use instead the UN Sustainable Development summit to be held in September 2019 as an opportunity to raise their ambition.

Alonside the negotiations, Chile was designated on Friday (14 December) as the host for COP25, with Costa Rica organising the pre-COP.

“We have achieved that, for the first time, not only half the world, but the whole world can be scrutinised when it comes to climate action,” German environment minister Svenja Schulze said in a statement.

French minister Francois de Rugy and his state secretary Brune Poirson did not attend the final days of the negotiations, commonly seen as pivotal in the diplomatic and political process of climate negotiations.

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EurActiv, 16 Dec 2018: Nations agree on Paris Agreement rulebook, fail on climate ambition