COP24 launches in Poland with hopes to meet PAWP’s goals


The Daily News Egypt - - Science - By Mo­hammed El-Said

The 24th Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Climate Change (COP24), launched on Mon­day in Ka­tow­ice, Poland, with the goal of fi­nal­is­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion guide­lines for the Paris climate change agree­ment.The COP24 came af­ter a year of dev­as­tat­ing climate dis­as­ters around the globe.

Dur­ing the past year, sev­eral re­ports and stud­ies warned of cli­matic catas­tro­phes, if the world did not take ac­tion to stop them. Ac­cord­ing to the World Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s lat­est re­port, the 20 warm­est years on record have been dur­ing the past 22 years, with the past four years as the warm­est.

In its lat­est re­port, the In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) urged the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to take rapid steps to counter climate change and its ex­pected im­pacts. Climate change rep­re­sents an ur­gent, and a po­ten­tially ir­re­versible threat, to hu­man so­ci­eties and the planet.

Over two weeks, the con­fer­ence is ex­pected to fi­nalise the rules for im­ple­ment­ing the Paris Agree­ment on climate change, un­der the Paris Agree­ment work pro­gramme (PAWP). Dis­cus­sions will in­clude a num­ber of high-level-, man­dated-, and ac­tion events, as well as round­table meet­ings.

Egypt’s Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, Yas­mine Fouad, headed the Egyp­tian del­e­ga­tion to the COP24. She said that the Pol­ish pres­i­dent’s af­fir­ma­tion of the im­por­tance of ‘com­bin­ing’ the three Rio agree­ments, re­flects and sup­ports the Egyp­tian ef­forts which are in the same di­rec­tion, through Pres­i­dent’s Ab­del Fat­tah Al-Sisi’s ini­tia­tive, launched dur­ing the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties on the Con­ven­tion of Bi­o­log­i­cal Di­ver­sity (COP14) in Egypt last month.

The three Rio con­ven­tions are the Con­ven­tion on Bi­o­log­i­cal Di­ver­sity (CBD), the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion to Com­bat De­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion


(UNCCD), and the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The min­is­ter praised the in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ment on reach­ing a work pro­gramme to ben­e­fit all the par­ties of the agree­ment. She also lauded the World Bank’s (WB) an­nounce­ment of dou­bling the funds for coun­ter­ing climate change. Fur­ther­more, Fouad met with the UN chief dur­ing the COP24.

The WB group an­nounced dur­ing the open­ing ses­sion of the COP24, that it will dou­ble its cur­rent fiveyear in­vest­ments to around $200bn, to en­cour­age coun­tries to take am­bi­tious climate ac­tions.

Dur­ing the open­ing ses­sion of the COP24, the United Na­tions Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral, An­tónio Guter­res, said that the world is in deep trou­ble re­gard­ing climate change, adding that climate change is de­vel­op­ing faster than we are, and we must catch up sooner rather than later be­fore it is too late, as the is­sue is a mat­ter of life and death for many peo­ple and coun­tries.

“Even as we wit­ness dev­as­tat­ing climate im­pacts caus­ing havoc across the world, we are still not do­ing enough, nor mov­ing fast enough, to pre­vent ir­re­versible and catastrophic climate dis­rup­tion,” Guter­res said. He pointed out that the Paris Agree­ment pro­vides the frame­work for ac­tion, there­fore “We must op­er­a­tionalise it.”

The UN chief fur­ther said, “The ma­jor­ity of coun­tries most re­spon­si­ble for green­house gas emis­sions are be­hind in their ef­forts to meet their Paris pledges.” Ac­cord­ing to Guter­res, “If we fail, the Arc­tic and Antarc­tic will con­tinue to melt, corals will bleach and then die, the oceans will rise, more peo­ple will die from air pol­lu­tion,water scarcity will plague a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of hu­man­ity, and the cost of dis­as­ters will sky­rocket.”

Dur­ing her speech be­fore the open­ing ses­sion, Pa­tri­cia Espinosa, the UN’s climate chief, said “This year is likely to be one of the four hottest years on record. Green­house gas’ con­cen­tra­tions in the at­mos­phere are at record lev­els, and emis­sions con­tinue to rise. Climate change im­pacts have never been worse.This re­al­ity is telling us that we need to do much more—COP24 needs to make that hap­pen”.

She added that “All of th­ese find­ings-re­gard­ing climate dev­as­ta­tion­con­firm the need to main­tain the strong­est com­mit­ment to the Paris Agree­ment’s aims of lim­it­ing global warm­ing to be­low 2ºC,and pur­su­ing ef­forts to­wards 1.5ºC.”

Espinosa stressed that our fo­cus should be on reach­ing the aim of meet­ing Paris Agree­ment’s re­quire­ments.

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