Report of main proceedings for 12 December 2018
Katowice Climate Change Conference - December 2018
The Katowice Climate Change Conference continued on Wednesday, with most negotiations happening at the ministerial level. The Talanoa Dialogue concluded with the announcement of the “Talanoa Call to Action.”
Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism: During informal consultations, co-facilitated by Kishan Kumarsingh (Trinidad and Tobago), parties agreed to all but one paragraph of the draft decision. Views differed on whether to continue consideration of this agenda item. Two developing country groups opposed a proposal to continue to address this item under the reports of the GEF and GCF, noting that these agenda items focus on reporting only and could not address relevant linkages. Parties discussed a proposal to continue substantive work under the SBI and a proposed compromise that the closure of this item could be considered in the future, without prejudging the outcome of that consideration, which many developed countries opposed. Observing no consensus, Co-Facilitator Kumarsingh informed he would report to the COP on the lack of agreement.
COP 24 President Michał Kurtyka said that the Talanoa process has installed greater confidence and courage, and enhanced ambition.
COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama applauded the collective effort to share stories, build empathy and trust, and inspire action.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the importance of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C and urged parties to agree to a “Katowice package” that delivers the PAWP, achieves progress on finance, and builds a strong basis for enhanced NDCs under the Talanoa Dialogue.
Reporting key messages from the ministerial Talanoas, Sławomir Mazurek, Deputy Minister of the Environment, Poland, highlighted the need for multilateralism and global cooperation.
Presenting further key messages from the ministerial Talanoas, Inia Seruiratu, High-level Climate Champion, Fiji, said the findings of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 °C underscore the urgent need for action. He highlighted the need to ensure a just transition and engage youth and indigenous peoples.
During statements, Maldives, for AOSIS, SWITZERLAND, and the EU called for a COP decision on the outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue.
SWITZERLAND urged avoiding loopholes that endanger the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement.
The EU pointed to its long-term strategy to become climate neutral by 2050 and said all finance flows must be aligned with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.
CHINA highlighted that multi-stakeholder dialogues conducted in the context of the Talanoa process had attracted attention at all governance levels, said climate action and economic development can be complementary, and urged developed countries to honor their financial commitments.
MARSHALL ISLANDS, in a recorded video, informed that her country had submitted a strengthened NDC in November 2018, and called for every government to contribute to increasing climate action by 2020, including through greatly improved finance flows.
GRENADA said the COP 24 outcome should strongly reflect the Talanoa process and recognize the 2019 Climate Summit as an important political moment to further raise ambition.
Maldives, for AOSIS, said the overarching message from the political phase must be one of urgency, of more ambitious near-term action, and ensuring net-zero emissions and a phasing out coal by 2050.
BINGOs called for a political declaration that encourages governments to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and for a robust Paris rulebook.
CAN urged parties to outline next steps to enhance ambition, including a multi-stakeholder revision process, develop long-term strategies, and provide space to report back at SB 50.
Calling attention to corporations’ influence over the negotiation process, CJN! urged parties to produce tangible results and “heal the world.”
TUNGOs urged parties to sign the Just Transition Declaration and said more ambition in combating climate change goes hand-in-hand with fighting for social justice.
FARMERS highlighted the importance of food security and called for the Talanoa Dialogue to be turned into action at COP 24.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES said the Talanoa Dialogue should result in a clear political commitment to limit warming to 1.5 °C.
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES called for NDCs to include regionally and locally determined contributions, and to integrate local and regional governments in the COP 24 outcomes.
RINGOs stressed the need to align fossil fuel production with the Paris Agreement’s goals, highlighting that limits on new fossil fuel exploration and production can help to enhance the next round of NDCs.
WOMEN AND GENDER highlighted that environmental degradation in one area of the world puts the whole world at risk, and called for system and behavior change.
Underscoring that it is young peoples’ future being decided upon, YOUNGOs demanded to be “present in every room, at every table.”
In the closing ceremony, two children, Timoci Naulusala, Fiji, and Hanna Wojdowska, Poland, called on everyone to take forward a clear signal from the Talanoa Dialogue, act with urgency, and recognize that we are in a race against time.
COP 23 President Bainimarama and COP 24 President Kurtyka presented the “Talanoa Call for Action.”
COP 23 President Bainimarama called for acting now to kickstart the just transformation towards a better world, saying that multilateralism and a global coalition of actors can “take us there.” Noting that the exchange of ideas and best practices must now be translated into concrete actions, he said the “Talanoa Dialogue must give way to the Talanoa Call for Action.” He also called on all countries to join Fiji and Marshall Islands in committing to raise the ambition of NDCs, and to bring concrete plans to the 2019 Climate Summit, informed by the Talanoas.
COP 24 President Kurtyka expressed his appreciation for all stories and inputs to the Dialogue and stressed messages from the IPCC Special Report and the importance of pre-2020 action by states and non-party stakeholders. He said the Call for Action would be uploaded on the UNFCCC website and a social media campaign would be initiated inviting everyone to join the call.
In the morning, Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Sweden highlighted her country’s “Fossil-free Sweden” initiative, which has resulted in sectoral roadmaps for “fossil-free competitiveness.”
Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway, said Norway aims to increase the ambition of its NDC by 2020 and will seek to: double its contributions to the Green Climate Fund (GCF); maintain REDD+ funding until 2030; and be transparent about its intentions towards supporting the USD 100 billion goal.
Carolina Schmidt, Minister of the Environment, Chile, said that she expected a common rulebook for all states with flexibility to allow for sovereign determination of climate action and no backsliding.
Edson Duarte, Minister of the Environment, Brazil, said his government had created conservation zones covering 9.4 million hectares and that Brazil would soon reach its goal of an 80% reduction in deforestation in the Amazon by 2020, compared to average rates in 1996-2005.
Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Minister of Science, Technology, and Environment, Cuba, said that parties’ inability to reach consensus at COP 24 on welcoming the findings of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C shows that political and economic interests prevail over scientific evidence.
Wallace Cosgrow, Minister of Environment, Energy, and Climate Change, Seychelles, called for the incorporation of loss and damage into the Agreement’s transparency framework, global stocktake (GST), and finance.
Lina Dolores Pohl, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador, called for an outcome in Katowice that establishes a stable institutional architecture for the long-term fight against climate change.
Noting that the IPCC Special Report confirmed the feasibility of limiting warming to 1.5°C, Francis Mokoto Hloaele, Minister of Energy and Meteorology, Lesotho, urged Annex I parties to raise ambition “to the scale required by science and equity.”
Noting recent unprecedented seasonal changes in his country, Kabineh Kallon, Minister of Transport and Aviation, Sierra Leone, urged robust support for adaptation action in developing countries.
Noting that his country suffers 2.2% annual GDP loss due to climate change, Ricardo José Lozano Picón, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia, urged an ambitious outcome that is consistent with sustainable development.
Calling for a “credible, durable, and pragmatic set of guidance,” Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore, underscored that the “Katowice rulebook” must enable climate action.
Sergio Alejandro Bergman, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Argentina, highlighted his country’s efforts, including developing sector-based plans to meet NDC commitments and a national climate change act to be passed in 2019.
Siti Nurbaya, Minister for Environment and Forestry, Indonesia, urged developed countries to deliver on pre-2020 emissions reductions and provide means of implementation to developing countries.
Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change, Malaysia, encouraged viewing climate change as an opportunity to develop a green economy, and lamented that a considerable share of financial assistance to Malaysia has gone to producing reports or building capacity for reporting.
Alfonso Alonzo Vargas, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Guatemala, highlighted his country’s efforts, including preventing deforestation, scaling up renewable energy and marine protection, and called for the transfer of funds to support these efforts.
Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary for the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Kenya, said that Kenya’s economy loses over 2% of its GDP due to climate change, calling for new, additional, and predicable finance.
Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment, Rwanda, urged developed countries to go “above and beyond” the USD 100 billion climate finance goal and called for the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
Andrei Khudyk, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Belarus, highlighted his country’s commitment to low-carbon sustainable development and underscored the potential contribution of nuclear energy to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Batio Bassiere, Minister of Environment, Green Economy, and Climate Change, Burkina Faso, said that insufficient mitigation coupled with insufficient support for adaptation will increase the likelihood of catastrophic climate change.
Fatma Zohra Zerouati, Minister of Environment and Renewable Energies, Algeria, highlighted activities related to energy transition, waste management, and green economy, and stressed CBDR-RC.
Statements continued in the afternoon and evening.
In the Corridors
Three years to the day of the Paris Agreement’s adoption, the negotiations seemed lost in transition, from adopting a high-level treaty to finishing its detailed user manual. Several delegates noted that “little has moved” in the negotiations in these past three years, as differentiation and other familiar issues remain seemingly intractable. With many longing for what one observer called “badly-needed” momentum, an overflowing room bore witness to the re-formation of the High Ambition Coalition. The coalition, formed by the EU, LDCs, and at least ten other countries, called for a robust rulebook to be adopted in Katowice and looked ahead to the 2019 UN Secretary-General Climate Summit as a milestone for raising ambition before 2020.
While some welcomed such an initiative to raise short-term ambition on climate action, others wished for more clarity on the short term approach to negotiations. Despite promises of new texts to arrive early this morning, delegates were still waiting at lunch, and only some materialized. Notably, finance was still absent by the end of the day. Many delegates also expressed disquiet, with some noting that negotiation approaches seemed to vary across issue, with some tackled in open-ended consultations and others in bilateral meetings with groups.
Leaving a late-evening, parties-only update on the state of the negotiations, one delegate reported a more uniform treatment across issues while another shruggingly acknowledged progress seemed limited despite ministers’ reports of a constructive spirit. With two days left, new text expected Thursday at noon, and a final package due at 4 pm, negotiators seemed unsure of who may move first.