COP24 – does it help?

Photo: UNFCCC

The next 14 days are in COP24’s sign. Many thousands of people are gathered in Katowice to talk about climate trying move on from the Paris agreement. There will probably not be a revolution in the first week, as this is the officials who are going to do the basic work – and it takes time.

The most important thing is that the countries acknowledge the responsibility of Paris and make sure that the last parts are in place. This applies not least to procedures for controlling the individual countries’ promises and how countries should tell about their progress in the climate field. It is important that it is transparent, consistent and comparable.

Similarly, the usual questions about the finances come on the table. Now the World Bank has promised to double their efforts in the climate area from $ 100 billion to $ 200 billion. This is a lot of money, but in a climate context, not as much as it sounds. Nevertheless, it is an important signal they send, so the hope will be that more countries will follow and spend more money in the green fund, which precisely has the purpose of helping especially the developing countries with the green change.

But does it help something? One might say that it is the only way forward. It is a global problem, which therefore have to be resolved through the UN, and here the COP meetings are central. They allow countries to discuss the problems and thereby create dialogue and cooperation across borders. Dialogue has helped in many other international issues, and of course it will also do so here.

But one thing is to get the Paris agreement to work. It’s quite another thing to get it improved, so the reduction targets increase to reduce the temperature rise. Several institutions have presented figures for current GHG emissions in the autumn and what is needed for reinforced reduction targets. These numbers must necessarily be taken seriously and form the basis for the negotiations.

Several EU countries want to increase the level of ambition, but there will hardly be anything from other countries on COP24 – it is my expectation that this as the earliest til be at the extraordinary climate meeting in New York in September before the annual general meeting.

Now, countries will negotiate for 14 days, and when we see the final declaration we will know if COP24 has been a success. For the benefit of coming generations I surely hope so.

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