published on 17 December 2018 in air

Cop24: an agreement reached, not without perplexities

After a stalemate lasting several days, making it necessary to extend the summit by 24 hours, an agreement to counter the climate change was reached at Cop24 in Katowice, Poland. The 196 countries taking part in the conference on climate signed the ‘Katowice Climate Package’, that is the Rulebook for implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. First and foremost, the Katowice Climate Package establishes how Countries will provide information on their nationally determined contributions to reducing emissions – the NDCs – including the steps towards mitigation and adaptation and details of financial support for developing economies. This is a key element that defines the standards to be met by the Parties, making it more difficult to evade commitments they have made.
Although the UN defined the conclusion of COP24 in Katowice as “an excellent result”, a number of perplexities remain. Non-governmental organisations, above all, have expressed doubts that the decisions that have just been reached will really succeed in limiting the average global temperature increase to a maximum of 2°C more than pre-industrial levels (remaining as far as possible closer to 1.5°C) by the end of the century. Moreover, what is still not clearly defined is the way in which Countries will increase their targets for cuts in emissions. Indeed, at the present time, the NDCs would guarantee an increase in world temperatures of no less than 3°C more than pre-industrial levels. In other words, 1.5 degrees more than the increase recommended in the latest IPCC report.
The UN will meet again next year in Santiago, Chile, (COP25) to set down the last details of the Paris regulations and begin work on future emissions targets. The 2019 climate summit will be preceded by a pre-COP25 in Costa Rica, at which Heads of State must demonstrate that they have effectively introduced CO2 reduction policies. At the Latin America summit, delegates must also discuss the issue of the transfer of 100 billion dollars from rich to poor countries, pledged at COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009, and never fully allocated. Meanwhile, Italy and the United Kingdom have submitted their candidacies as hosts of COP26, due to be held in 2020.

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