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The UN climate change talks, which had been at a stand-off for three days, ended on Saturday night after an agreement on rules that will help reverse global warming. 

The three day stand-off was between delegates from industrialised and developing nations.

Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko said the meeting focused on contentious issues related to finance, loss and damage, and creation of a new carbon trading market.

The COP24 climate change talks were held in Katowice, Poland.

NEW RULES

The delegates adopted the ‘Katowice package’, which is a new set of climate change guidelines and rulebook to accelerate national action plans.

“The ‘Katowice package’ sets a way to decide on new, more ambitious funding targets from 2025 onwards, from the current commitment to mobilise $100 billion per year as of 2020,” Tobiko said. 

The two-week-long 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, commonly known as COP24, had been scheduled to conclude on Friday.

However negotiators, including Tobiko, had been unable to reach a compromise agreement despite endless rounds of negotiations and back-room diplomacy.

Speaking from Katowice, Tobiko said the negotiators had finally managed to reach what he described as a “robust” set of implementing guidelines for the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. 

The guidelines agreed at COP24 include key agreements on financing for projects aimed at keeping global warming rises to below 2°C.

 “After three sleepless nights, I am glad to confirm that the COP24 talks have come to a close with a number of compromise arrangements for the earlier contentious issues,” Tobiko said. “The Africa Group of Negotiators has literally been burning the midnight oil seeking to advance our unique interests and we have made significant headway with the adoption of the ‘Katowice package’.”

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At the conference, the Kenya government had cited access to predictable and adequate funding options as a key challenge frustrating the implementation of climate change action plans in developing countries.

“Access to new, additional, predictable and adequate climate finance is critical for developing countries and parties to implement their priority adaptation and mitigation actions and meet their obligations under the Convention and the Paris Agreement. The time for action is now. Let us all rise to the occasion. Let us save our planet,” Tobiko said.

MORE FINANCES

Germany and Norway also announced expanded financial commitments for climate action, both pledging to double their contributions to the Green Climate Fund established to enable developing countries to act.

The World Bank also announced it would increase its commitment to climate action after 2021 to $200 billion; the climate Adaptation Fund received a total of $129 million. 

  The ‘Katowice package’ also features a detailed transparency framework meant to promote trust among nations to ensure they all do their part in fighting climate change. 

It sets out a framework on how countries will provide information about their national action plans, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as mitigation and adaptation measures. 

An agreement was also reached on how to uniformly count greenhouse gas emissions. If poorer countries feel they cannot meet the standards set, they can explain why and present a plan to build up their capacity.

In recognition of the serious threats posed by climate change, Tobiko said, the government has been leading the process of developing financial instruments for climate proofing vulnerable sectors of the economy.

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