Nations agree milestone rulebook for Paris climate treaty

KATOWICE, Poland, Nations on Sunday struck a deal to breathe life into the landmark 2015 Paris climate treaty after marathon UN talks that failed to match the ambition the world's most vulnerable countries need to avert dangerous global warming.

Delegates from nearly 200 states finalised a common rule book designed to

deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below

two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

Putting together the Paris agreement work programme is a big

responsibility, said COP24 president Michal Kurtyka as he gavelled through

the deal after talks in Poland that ran deep into overtime.

It has been a long road. We did our best to leave no one behind.

But states already dealing with devastating floods, droughts and extreme

weather made worse by climate change said the package agreed in the mining

city of Katowice lacked the bold ambition to cut emissions the world needed.

Egyptian ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, chair of the developing nations G77

plus China negotiating bloc, said the rule book saw the urgent adaptation

needs of developing countries relegated to a secondclass status.

Executive director of Greenpeace Jennifer Morgan said: We continue to

witness an irresponsible divide between the vulnerable island states and

impoverished countries pitted against those who would block climate action or

who are immorally failing to act fast enough.

The final decision text was repeatedly delayed as negotiators sought

guidelines that could ward off the worst threats posed by the heating planet

while protecting the economies of rich and poor nations alike.

Without a clear rulebook, we won't see how countries are tracking, whether

they are actually doing what they say they are doing, Canada's Environment

Minister Catherine McKenna told AFP.

At their heart, negotiations were about how each nation funds action to

mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as how those actions are

reported.

Report controversy

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has recently backed down on anti

pollution fuel tax hikes in the face of countrywide yellow vest protests,

said France must show the way as he welcomed the progress made at the

talks.

The international community remains committed to the fight against climate

change, he tweeted on Sunday.

Congratulations to the UN, scientists, NGOs and all negotiators. France

and Europe must show the way. The fight goes on.

Developing nations had wanted more clarity from richer ones over how the

future climate fight will be funded and pushed for socalled loss and

damage measures.

This would see richer countries giving money now to help deal with the

effects of climate change many vulnerable states are already experiencing.

Another contentious issue was the integrity of carbon markets, looking

ahead to the day when the patchwork of distinct exchanges � in China, the

Europe Union, parts of the United States � may be joined up in a global

system.

The Paris Agreement calls for setting up a mechanism to guard against

practices, such as double counting emissions savings, that could undermine

such a market.

A major sticking point, delegates eventually agreed Saturday to kick the

issue down the road until next year.

One veteran observer told AFP that Poland's presidency at COP24 had left

many countries out of the process and presented atrisk nations with a take

it or leave it deal.

Progress had been held up by Brazil, when it should have been held up by

the small islands. It's tragic.

One of the largest disappointments for countries of all wealths and sizes

was the lack of ambition to reduce emissions shown in the final COP24 text.

Most nations wanted the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change (IPCC) to form a key part of future planning.

'The system must change'

It highlighted the need to slash carbon pollution by nearly half before

2030 in order to hit the 1.5C target.

But the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected, leading to watered

down wording.

The final statement from the Polish COP24 presidency welcomed the timely

conclusion of the report and invited parties to make use of it � hardly

the ringing endorsement many nations had called for.

There's been a shocking lack of response to the 1.5 report, Greenpeace's

Morgan, told AFP.

UN SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres, who made three trips to Katowice

over the course of the talks, said the world's climate fight was just

beginning.

From now on my five priorities will be: Ambition, ambition, ambition,

ambition, ambition, he said in a message read out by UN climate chief

Patricia Espinosa.

With the political climate process sputtering on well into its third decade

as emissions rise remorselessly, activists have stepped up grassroots

campaigns of civil disobedience to speed up action.

We are not a oneoff protest, we are a rebellion, a spokesman for the

Extinction Rebellion movement, which disrupted at least one ministerial event

at the COP, told AFP.

We are organising for repeated disruption, and we are targeting our

governments, calling for the system change needed to deal with the crisis

that we are facing.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)