CLIMATE SUMMIT: COP24
Katowice will be holding the 2018 Climate Summit in December
COP24 will be held in the Polish city of Katowice between 3 and 14 December 2018. This latest Summit will be key when it comes to designing the instruments that enable climate goals to be tackled and achieved effectively and efficiently.
Panoramic view of the city of Katowice.
Climate change is an undeniable fact: the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has been progressively increasing since the Industrial Revolution — from 280 ppm in the middle of the 18th century to over 400 today —. Reversing this trend is only achievable via worldwide action and by tackling the problem forcefully from all angles.
As part of its programme designed to meet this crucial challenge, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) annually holds a Conference of the Parties (COP) attended by around 200 countries. The COP is the most important worldwide initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and slowing global warming.
Achieving full implementation of the historic Paris Agreement requires important challenges yet to be met ahead of the next Conference of the Parties (COP), which will be held in December in Katowice (Poland):
- On the one hand, the pace of the negotiations does not appear to be high enough to consolidate important matters, and this has led to an additional round of negotiations having to be organised in Bangkok [PDF] at the beginning of September in an effort to conclude a number of unresolved matters prior to COP24.
- On the other, political issues exist that require high-level discussions to move them forward. The most important of these is the request by the developing countries for more transparency and predictability in the flows of climate control funding to be contributed by the developed countries to meet the objective of 100 billion dollars by 2020.
COP24 IN KATOWICE
This is the third time that Poland is hosting a Climate Summit: COP14 was held in Poznan (2008) and COP19 took place in Warsaw (2013).
The main objectives of COP24 are:
- To take the decisions necessary to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
- To take stock of the collective achievements made by the Parties in their efforts to meet the objectives agreed in Paris.
- As far as Poland, the host country, is concerned, its aim is to show all the other countries how they can become carbon neutral thanks to sound forest management.
TALANOA, THE PATH TOWARDS MAJOR POLITICAL DECISIONS
Among the most recent initiatives for combating climate change, special mention must be made of the Talanoa Dialogue, a forum for debates between countries and civil society that seeks to take stock of the actions and proposals that raise the climate bar. The technical phase held in Bonn — between April 30 and May 10 — was attended by more than 700 participants from among governments and the representatives of civil organisations, and the Iberdrola group was one of the six companies selected on a world level to offer their vision as to how to meet the climate-based objectives by way of a sustainable energy model.
As the sole representative of the energy sector at the Talanoa Dialogue, Iberdrola highlighted the viability of achieving a decarbonised energy model based on clean energy and on the electrification of the world economy. A sustainable scenario full of opportunities which, if it is to be achieved, requires the development of robust climate policy frameworks, setting objectives for 2030 and 2050. This scenario also requires a key role to played by environmental taxation based on the "polluter pays" principle.
At the forthcoming Katowice Climate Summit the results of this technical stage will serve as the basis for developing the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue, which will be headed up by high-level government representatives. COP24, which will be held in Poland, will be key when it comes to designing the instruments that enable the climatic goals to be tackled and met effectively and efficiently.
OTHER CLIMATE APPOINTMENTS
September 2018 was a decesive month in combating climate change. Among the most important appointments of the climate agenda, the following are specially significant:
- Round of negotiations in Bangkok (September 4-9): an additional technical meeting organised to make further progress as regards the details of the implementation rules for the Paris Agreement (transparency, climate contributions review, inter-country cooperation instruments, etc.). This meeting is the key to count on an agreement at the Katowice Climate Summit in December 2018.
- Global Climate Action Summit (September 12-14): it was held in San Francisco, this Summit was a shop window for the climate actions being performed by states, cities and companies from all over the world.
- New York Climate Week (September 24-30): a new opportunity, now within the context of the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, to show the advances made by the main players involved in combating global warming and climate change.
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