In line with the Paris agreement on climate, without ambitions new

Dans la lignée de l’accord de Paris sur le climat, sans ambitions nouvelles

Photo: Janek Skarzynski Agence France-Presse
The president of the COP24, Michal Kurtyka, has jumped over his desk at the end of the final session of the summit on the climate.

Catherine Hours – Agence France-Presse,

Frank Jordans – Associated Press

Amélie Bottollier-After – Agence France-Presse

in Katowice

December 17, 2018

  • Environment

The international community has endowed Saturday, the agreement of Paris of the tools that give life, without committing to do more or more quickly against the global warming in spite of the emergency and the disasters unleashed across the world.

A few weeks ago, the scientists of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), pulled the alarm bell : in a world of +2 °C, the minimum objective of the climate deal by 2015, the impacts would be much more important than in a world of +1.5 °C, limit the ideal of the agreement.

But, to remain under +1.5 °C, it will be necessary to reduce the CO2 emissions by almost 50 % by 2030, compared to 2010, while the current commitments of the States have announced a world at +3 °C, with a lot of storms, droughts, floods,…

In the Face of this warning shot, a number of delegations, in particular the vulnerable island States, hoped for the 24th conference of the UN on climate change (COP24) countries promised to meet by 2020 their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

User manual

But in a geopolitical context is not conducive, the States are primarily applied to complete rules that will apply to the agreement. These were taken Saturday, under the applause of the delegations.

Prepared for three years and finalized in these last 14 days and a few nights of tense negotiations, this “instructions for use” a hundred pages fixed including the modalities for the monitoring of national actions. Flexibility has been granted to the developing countries.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has said that he is satisfied. “The international community remains engaged in the fight against climate change. Bravo to the UN, scientists, NGOS and to all the negotiators “, he wrote on Twitter.

This manual of use “is sufficiently clear to make operational the Paris agreement and it is a good news,” said the Spanish minister for the Environment, Teresa Ribera.

“In the current circumstances, to continue to build our building is already a success,” she added, even if, like many others, she would have liked to have the “messages a lot stronger” on the ambition.

“This lack of response to the IPCC report, it is shocking,” says Jennifer Morgan of Greenpeace. “You can’t meet after that, and say that you can’t do more ! “

The final decision of the COP is limited to “repeat the request” update of the commitments, by 2020, already formulated in the Paris agreement. It ” stresses the urgency of greater ambition “, without a calendar.

A pass of arms on the recognition or non-recognition of the conclusions of the IPCC had set the tone in the middle of the COP, United States, saudi Arabia and Russia refusing to allow the mention of “welcomes” in the final decision.

But in a message that was read Saturday evening in plenary, the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, who came three times to Katowice in order to put pressure on the negotiators, ensured that the struggle was not ended. “Now, my five priorities will be ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition and ambition “, has he hammered, in the context of his climate summit in September 2019.

“While the United States and three other major oil countries have prevented the need for urgent action to be fully reflected in the final decision, the majority of the countries have heard the alert, desperate scientists,” said Alden Meyer, an expert of the organization Union of Concerned Scientists.

Coming out of the Paris agreement, but for the moment still in the United States have strongly defended their traditional positions, point out observers. According to them, their footprint is visible, in particular on the rules relating to developing countries.

In front of the “vacuum” left by the future american, ” China is shifted into top gear “, and has been constructive, said to AFP the canadian minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna.

Not fast enough, not far enough

The COP24, which was just completed in Katowice, has been confirmed by the Paris agreement but also revealed that ” the fight against climate change will neither fast enough nor far enough “, said Sunday the former president of the COP21, Laurent Fabius.

“The main merit of the agreement of Katowice, is that it exists in spite of a difficult international context, and it thus strengthens the Paris agreement, but it is clear that the fight against climate change will neither fast enough nor far enough,” said Mr Fabius in a press release.

Concerning Poland, the president defended tooth and nail its coal industry during this COP, it has not been spared. “This is the perversity of the use of this meeting as a trade show pro-coal […] or the lack of interest for the ambitious conclusions, we will not remember them with tenderness “, a summary Mohamed Adow of the NGO Christian Aid.


The financing of climate policies is another concern of poor countries, in particular the way in which is going to organize the rise of the funds promised by the North from 2025 onwards.

While the countries of the North have promised to make their aid climate to $ 100 billion per year by 2020, in some countries, such as Germany, have announced new contributions, including the green Fund. And the world Bank has promised $ 200 billion for the period 2021-2025.

On behalf of the group of ” G77 and China “, which represents some 130 mainly developing countries who like the others approved the agreement, Egypt has regretted a regime “centered” on the reduction of emissions, ” the urgent needs of the developing countries being relegated to a status of second-class “.

More unexpectedly, the rules of the mechanisms of exchange of quotas of carbon emissions have stalled for hours Saturday for the conclusion of the work, the Brazil leading the protest. Discussions about the heart of this highly technical subject, but which must prevent the emission reductions are counted twice, have finally been postponed.

What indignant, strongly to one observer, a veteran of negotiations : “This conference has been delayed by the Brazil so that she would have to be by the small islands ! It’s a tragedy. “

But as pointed out, the fatalistic, the fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, president of the COP23, the island of less than a million inhabitants can ” not threaten or force anyone to do what you want “.

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