COP24 - UN Climate Change Conference
The twenty-fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP24, sometimes also referred to as the Climate Change Conference, will take place from 2 to 14 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland. Poland is hosting the conference for the third time, with Katowice following in the footsteps of Poznań in 2008 and Warsaw in 2013.
This year's conference is the most important since COP21 in 2015, where the Paris Agreement was adopted. The focus is on two key issues. First, the implementation rules for the Paris Agreement are to be adopted. In Paris, the international community’s goals and obligations were decided. Now decisions have to be taken about how these obligations will be implemented. Second, the countries will discuss how climate targets can be improved around the world in the Talanoa Dialogue. The dialogue will send a strong message supporting more ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in 2020. Parallel to the negotiations, representatives from policy, civil society, the scientific community and industry will show that a growing global movement for increased climate action exists and transcends the conventional environmentalist community.
Video message from Alexander Gerst to COP24
Latest on COP24
Impressions from Katowice
FAQ on COP24 in Poland
Currently, there are 197 Parties (196 States and the European Union) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The UNFCCC Secretariat and the Poland Presidency are responsible for organising the conference and setting the conference agenda.
In the negotiations, the countries form groupings that represent their common interests. The four party groupings, which do not overlap, are: the EU; the Umbrella Group, which includes the other developed countries and a few emerging economies; the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), which includes, in particular, Switzerland, Mexico and Korea; and the Group of 77 and China, which includes all other developing countries and emerging economies.
The technical negotiations begin on Sunday, 2 December. On Monday, 3 December, the heads of state and government meet to formulate political expectations for the conference and, primarily, to send a message supporting just transition to a climate neutral world. In the first week, negotiations will be at working level. The aim is to reconcile as far as possible the texts that are the basis of the negotiation. The participants at minister level will then work on the points where agreement cannot be reached in the second week. On Friday, 14 December, the final documents are to be adopted by the plenary of the conference of the parties.
Germany is negotiating as a member of the EU. The role of the EU as a community of countries in the negotiation is, in many respects, to be a bridge builder between countries with diverging interests. The EU has success in this because it is itself a group of very different countries and its positions frequently represent a compromise. The BMU has lead responsibility for the climate negotiations within the German government
COP24 will take place in the International Conference Centre (MCK) and the nearby Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland. Katowice is in the heart of the Silesian Coal Basin, and the host city was chosen due to its recent transformation into a climate friendly region. The area is comparable to the Ruhr Valley.
There will be an extra venue, Area G, in addition to the official negotiating venue. In Area G, actors in national and international climate policy, such as governments and NGOs, can present their activities and participate in side events. The focus is on exchange between stakeholders.
Germany will once again have its own pavilion this year, located in Area E (stand 11). Half of the pavilion space will be available to non-state and subnational actors for events. The other half will be used for German government events. Activities at the pavilion will present and discuss the work of the German government and its partners in national and international climate action. The UNFCCC Secretariat and the German government are foregoing printed publications and materials as much as possible and instead are using electronic data transmission to ensure a conference that is as paperless as possible.
What Germany expects at COP24 in Poland
Robust rules for achieving international climate targets
In the Paris Agreement, the international community set the goal of limiting global warming since the pre-industrial era to well below 2°C, if possible to below 1.5°C. The agreement establishes a cycle in which countries continually increase the ambition of their climate efforts. Each country prepares its own nationally determined contribution (NDC) and clarifies the different elements of the contribution in advance. Then each country implements the measures outlined in its NDC. Every two years, the countries submit transparent reports on their emissions reductions. These reports are reviewed by the other parties to the convention. Every five years, all parties conduct a global stock-take, discussing how the climate action efforts of all countries can be improved. In follow-up, each country then sets a new nationally determined contribution. The Paris Agreement obligates the countries to submit more ambitious NDCs every time.
The agreement recognises that countries must also adapt to climate change. Countries are also expected to report on adaptation activities. Developed countries have agreed to support developing countries with finances, technology and capacity-building. The implementation rules will establish in detail the specific requirements for reporting on mitigation, adaptation and finance.
Reviewing and improving nationally determined contributions
The Talanoa Dialogue is meant to facilitate solution-oriented conversation among the countries. Its purpose is to show where the international community currently stands with regard to global climate action and how it can improve. In the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24, Germany expects a clear political message from the ministers, a declaration that they will review their NDCs with an eye to increasing them and that they will update or resubmit their NDCs in 2020. The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, provides influential scientific input on the matter.
"We want to agree on an approach that will help us all, worldwide, to work for more innovative and more effective climate action."Quote Svenja Schulze
Clear accounting of emissions reductions
Germany and the EU want to agree robust, effective implementation rules for the Paris Agreement at COP24. These rules are intended to ensure that all countries follow the same reporting standards. To this end, the records of emissions reductions achieved and climate financing mobilised or received should be clear and continuous. Reviews of reports should also show the progress a country is making in implementing its mitigation measures. Beyond this, the rules must also account for differences between countries where necessary and possible without undermining their robustness. Such rules make it possible to gain a realistic understanding of emissions trends. They give countries certainty that not only they, but also their most important competitors, are taking ambitious climate action. They make it easier for all actors to take ambitious action for the climate. In our view, a clear, rule-based system is a prerequisite for this.
Our strategies and measures
Facts about climate protection
Anton Balazh 2015/stock.adobe.com
Climate Action in Figures
In 2018, the Federal Government is preparing a program of measures on the climate protection plan to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions in Germany will be reduced by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. For the fifth time, the ministry prepares data on the subject vividly and in a generally understandable way for a broad public and offers a wealth of information and graphics on climate protection - internationally, across Europe and nationally.
History was written in Paris on 12 December 2015: the Paris Agreement was adopted at the international Climate Change Conference, also known as "COP21". After many years of intensive negotiations, all countries have committed themselves to changing the global economy in a climate-friendly way.
The Kyoto Protocol is considered a milestone in international climate policy. It was adopted at the third Conference of the Parties (COP3) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol was the first agreement to include binding commitments for developed countries to limit and reduce emissions.