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COP24 in Katowice – much is at stake 

Opening of COP24 in Katowice

Opening of COP24 in Katowice, © Auswärtiges Amt

02.12.2018 - Article

For two weeks, the international community will discuss the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change starts today (2 December) in Katowice. Known informally as COP24, the conference is the most important climate-policy event since the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

For two weeks, representatives of 196 countries and numerous international organisations and NGOs will discuss how the Paris Climate Agreement is to be implemented and further developed. Much is at stake. Only if global warming is kept significantly under 2°C – and ideally limited to 1.5°C – will it be possible to curb the most severe effects of human-induced climate change.

Global inventory and transparent dialogue

The aim of COP24 is to adopt the guidelines on the Paris Climate Agreement. These guidelines will lay down how countries’ national climate contributions will be measured, compared and forwarded to the UNFCCC secretariat. The greatest possible transparency is the prerequisite for meeting the goals agreed in Paris.

In addition, the first Talanoa Dialogue will take place at COP24, during which the international community will review global emissions reductions since 2015. On this basis, the countries will then discuss how they can boost their efforts and raise their national climate targets.

Far greater efforts are needed

One can already see that countries’ current climate targets will not be enough to limit global warming to significantly under 2°C and ideally to 1.5°C.

Without further efforts, global temperatures will rise by over 3°C by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial levels.

The foreseeable effects of climate change would pose too great a challenge for many countries.

The impact of climate change is already having an adverse effect on the stability of entire countries and regions. In connection with other factors, climate change thus poses a threat to peace and security. A report recently published by the United Nations Environment Programme warns that global climate efforts must be tripled in order to adhere to the 2°C goal. To keep global warming to 1.5°C, as much as five times more effort is needed.

Impact on security and stability at the heart of German climate diplomacy

Venue of COP24 in Katowice
Venue of COP24 in Katowice© Auswärtiges Amt

Ambitious climate policy is thus part of forward-looking foreign policy. Germany has been one of the most active countries in this field for years and will put the focus on the links between climate and security once again at COP24. This link is also one of the priorities for Germany’s membership of the United Nations Security Council in the next two years.

Furthermore, Germany will double its contribution to the Green Climate Fund to 1.5 billion euros from 2019 in order to help developing countries in particular with the global transformation. In this way, Germany is making an important contribution to implementing the Paris Climate Agreement, which is a shining example of successful multilateralism.

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