PRE COP 24 – A key preparatory meeting before COP24
By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache
Following the calls for strong action by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the International Energy Agency’s latest report on rising emissions from the energy sector, a key preparatory meeting for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) took place during two days in Krakow Poland.
During this Pre-COP, Ministers from 35 countries met to prepare a successful outcome at COP24 according to the UNFCCC Communication department . Taking place in Katowice, Poland in December, COP24 is critical as countries are set to adopt a full and balanced set of guidelines that will tell the world how to implement the Paris Agreement transparently and fairly for all, warns the UNFCCC communication department.
In addition to the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement, COP24 will also see the high-level political phase of the Fiji-led Talanoa Dialogue, which aims to assess progress towards the temperature goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Ministers had open and frank discussions at the Pre-COP, emphasizing the sense of urgency and underlining the need for a solid outcome at COP24, recalled the UNFCCC Communication department.
Ministers discussed the key issues of the implementation guidelines, which include transparent action with respect to
o adaptation to climate change impacts
o ambitious emission reductions,
o with strong means of implementation to support developing countries, in the form of technology cooperation, capacity building, and, especially financial support.
But for the Least Developed countries’s chairman, Gebru Gembers, it is not a simple process. “The IPCC report has made even clearer the need for the Paris Rulebook to properly reflect the breadth of action required by all countries to achieve the Agreement’s 1.5°C goal”, he said earlier when the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report. And he added: “Countries must deliver a robust Rulebook that will ensure adequate action to cut emissions, adapt to climate change and address loss and damage, and that support is provided to enable poorer countries to do the same.”
For Gebru Gember, who is from Ethiopia, the IPCC report confirms that loss and damage resulting from climate change will only worsen with further warming with much greater losses at 2°C than at 1.5°C. And it urgent to find concrete solutions. “It is particularly vulnerable countries like the least developed countries that are worst affected by the devastating impacts of climate change and bear the greatest cost from the damage it causes, despite contributing the least to the problem. This injustice must be addressed by the international community through the provision of support for dealing with loss and damage,” he said.
During the Pre-COP, Ministers engaged and increased their understanding of positions and possible bridging proposals to ensure that the Paris Agreement can be fully implemented, underlined the UNFCCC Communication department. For the department, day two of the Pre-COP saw constructive discussions on the nature of the outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24. The inclusive dialogue, which aims to find solutions for how countries can increase their ambition now and in the long-term was welcomed by Ministers, with many indicating a strong interest in its continuation beyond COP24, specified the UNFCCC Communication department.
The dialogue was praised with many Ministers highlighting that its open conversational style, a traditional approach from the Pacifica region, had helped to build trust among countries.
A large number of Ministers informed the meeting that domestic Talanoa Dialogues had been organized in their countries in 2018 and that they were looking forward to the high-level dialogue at COP24.
During the seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa convened in Nairobi, Kenya, from 10-11 October 2018 ( organized by the Center of climate policy of UNECA), the African Group had another dialogue and they emphasized their priorities and expectations for COP 24: this UN Conference should be targeted on financing climate change, implementating existing instruments and conventions such as the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, but also on supporting the African initiatives such as the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Africa Adaptation Initiative.
Recently the Green Climate Fund board approved to invest one billion dollars of new projects and programmes to support climate action in developing countries, and formally launching the Fund’s first replenishment.
The 19 new projects amount to a total investment from GCF of USD 1,038 million, and including co-financing the projects will channel over USD 4,244 million of climate finance for low-emission, climate-resilient development. GCF now has a portfolio of 93 projects amounting to over USD 4,605 million of GCF resources.
With only a few days before COP24 opens, Ministers during the Pre-COP acknowledged that there was still much work to be done.