December 3 - 14, 2018 nearly 23,000 delegates descended on
the coal city of Katowice, Poland for COP24.
Nearly 200 countries agreed to a Paris Agreement rulebook that will serve as an operations manual for implementation of the agreement. It is set to go into full effect by 2020. The key topics negotiated included mitigation, adaptations, finance, transparency, and global stocktake. The rulebook will help governments measure, report on, and verify their commitments. The global stocktake provide a formal assessment to measure commitments.
15-year-old Swedish Climate Activist, Greta Thunberg stole the sow with her powerful message to the global community. Watch her speech here.
Islands nations led the charge for global climate change. Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives stated, “We are going to do everything in our power to keep our heads above the water.” Read more here:
Miguel Arias Cañete, Spanish European Commissioner, acknowledged regional success when he stated, “We reached a compromise to cut emissions from cars (by 37.5%) and vans (by 31%) by 2030. With these ambitious targets, Europe is once again showing how to turn the #ParisAgremeent and #COP24 into action.”
Hear it from the people who participated. Check out the interviews on Live from COP24 - Interview with Climate Leaders and Advocates.
Rachel Kyte, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy and head of Sustainable Energy for All, highlights the urgency of action and it feasibility, here.
A special report put out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reduced the critical global temperature threshold from 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level to 1.5 degrees. This was met with mixed support and much debate over the wording. The US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait challenged the change in wording from “to note” to “to welcome” the findings in the IPCC report. This complicated global action to accept the change.
The US held its ground to withdraw from the agreement, and Brazil joined them. China, on the other hand, bought in. The successes are mixed with challenges. Overall, the words seem to be in the right place, but the action will tell the story. Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace, was disappointed by the results of COP 24, stating that “Adopting a set of rules for climate action is not nearly enough. Without immediate action, even the strongest rules will not get us anywhere.”
Many highlighted the urgency for action.
Do what you can to reduce your footprint and work with your local community to do the same. The Paris Agreement is not limited to national action, so you have a voice in the matter, a collaborative effort is what is needed!
Read more about COP24, here.
Next year's COP25 will be held in December 2019 in Santiago, Chile.