KATOWICE, Poland – The international community managed on Saturday at the climate change summit (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, to establish once and for all the rules that will permit the application of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
After some marathon negotiations over the last 13 days, the representatives of 197 countries were able to agree on a robust “rulebook” that will guide the fight against global warming over the coming decades.
“Katowice has shown once more the resilience of the Paris Agreement, our solid roadmap for climate action,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “From now on my five priorities will be ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition and ambition” to defeat climate change.
The final accord includes a reference to the scientific report that speaks to the importance of undertaking “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented” changes to limit the planet’s rise in temperature to 1.5 C (34.7 F), following a raging controversy that threatened to break up the conference.
Spain’s Energy and Environment Minister Teresa Ribera hailed the series of decisions taken as strong enough to make the Paris Accord operative.
“This is a very important achievement that shows a strong willingness from the international community, even in a context where there are leaders that challenge multilateralism,” she said.
For Ribera, this kind of roadmap supposes a motor of change toward more ambitious goals, in line with the scientific report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
One achievement of this accord has been to establish a common set of rules, a mechanism for transparency, so that each country will report to the rest of the international community its progress in the fight against climate change.
The announcement of the accord at the Katowice conference, which should have officially ended on Friday, was delayed several times due to a lack of consensus, basically because of Brazil’s last-minute rejection of a modification to the current coal regulation system.