By Gustavo Pinheiro
Representing the Institute for Climate and Society, I attended the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was held in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018. This is an annual meeting of all the member countries. The main objective was the establishment of an agreement on the rulebook that will guide the implementation of the Paris Agreement from 2020 onwards, when it enters into force.
The Paris Agreement was entered into by 195 countries in Paris in 2015. It was ratified by the Brazilian National Congress in 2016 and enacted by the then President of the Republic in 2017, Michel Temer. The first period of commitments undertaken by the signatories of the agreement countries begin in 2020. Brazil has undertaken to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 37% up to 2025 and has indicated a further reduction of 43% by 2030, based on the 2005 Brazilian emissions.
The rulebook agreed by the countries at COP24, called the “Katowice Climate Package”, establishes the modus operandi of the Agreement. The document defines how it will stocktake the effectiveness of climate actions in 2023 and also how it will assess the progress on the development and transfer of technology. The agreed rules should contribute to a greater transparency in relation to the commitments undertaken by the countries and the achieved results, promote a greater confidence between the parties, expand international cooperation and encourage greater ambition.
The package also offers guidelines for the establishment of new funding targets from 2025, given the current objective of mobilizing 100 billion dollars a year from 2020 in order to support developing countries.
There are some points on which it was not possible to obtain agreement in Katowice, and which should be negotiated between the member countries in 2019. Among them, it is important to highlight the operation of the mechanism of sustainable development, which allows countries to cooperate voluntarily in the implementation of their contributions in order to allow greater ambition in their measures of mitigation and adaptation, including market mechanisms.
A number of important announcements were also made during the conference:
· The allocation of 129 million dollars to the Adaptation Fund;
· The commitment of the World Bank to allocate 200 billion dollars in climate action funding for the period 2021-25;
· The commitment of 15 international organizations to make their operations neutral in greenhouse gas emissions;
· The announcement by the C40 cities coalition to work with the international panel of scientists to identify how the latest scientific report can guide municipal actions.
Several grantee organizations of the iCS were also present. Many of them organized events in which the results of studies were presented, asking for more ambition from Brazil and supporting actions that contribute to achieving the objective of limiting the global warming as agreed in Paris.
Among the topics addressed by the grantees of ICS in events held at COP24, I highlight the defense of the continuity and expansion of combating the deforestation of the Brazilian forests, restoration actions of forestry liabilities, the expansion of funding for the adoption of Low Carbon Farming techniques, and the implementation of carbon pricing mechanisms and market instruments, among others.
The Brazilian Forum for Climate Change (FBMC) presented on several occasions during the conference the set of priority recommendations for the implementation of the Brazilian commitments, which was produced for the Brazilian Presidency.
Finally, with the withdrawal of Brazil from hosting the 25th Conference, Chile officially submitted its willingness to hold the meeting this year, which will be held on November 11-22, 2019, in Santiago. Costa Rica will also host a preparatory meeting. Let’s wait for!
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