Ministerial meeting in preparation of the Climate Change Conference in Katowice in December
Ministers and heads of delegation from 37 countries met in Krakow from 22 to 24 October 2018 on the invitation of the Polish government to discuss the possible outcomes for the next Climate Change Conference (COP 24). State Secretary at the German Environment Ministry, Jochen Flasbarth, noted: "After Paris the conference in Katowice will be another milestone in international climate policy. The results will make it possible for countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement."
One of the main outstanding issues is the question of how the nationally determined climate targets (NDCs) can be brought into line with the international rules on transparency. Clear and comprehensive rules on how governments fulfil the transparency requirements for mitigation and financing are necessary. In turn, this will facilitate the design of national climate policies. State Secretary Flasbarth explained: "Setting climate targets is a matter of national policy but implementation, measurement and verification will have to follow internationally binding rules. Transparency in implementation is the currency of trust in the international climate action arena."
Ministers will also meet for the Talanoa-Dialogue in Katowice to discuss the implications of the report recently published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on 1.5 degrees. They will also explore how the international community can raise its collective level of ambition. "The IPCC message has been received. As was agreed in Paris, we will use the next Climate Change Conference to set the process in motion that will contiuously intensify our efforts to combat climate change. We must step up our climate action efforts – both internationally and at home."
In-depth discussions of the Paris Agreement work programme on mitigation, adaptation, transparency and financing led to a closer alignment of positions of the governments represented at the preparatory meeting. The readiness among the participating states to complete the Paris work programme as foreseen and to agree on implementation rules was palpable. It also became clear that fine details still have to be worked out in the remaining brief period before the end of COP 24. The drafted negotiating texts contain everything necessary to bring about an agreement. Some sections already include clearly worded text options for the decisions to be made. In the case of other sections, the negotiators have been asked to work intensively during the remaining time to make the texts ready for decision-making. "I like the idea of dedicating the rule book to the recently deceased environment minister of South Africa, Edna Molewa, who was instrumental in bringing about the Paris Agreement due to her vision and continuous advocacy" Flasbarth commented.
The next Climate Change Conference (COP 24) will take place in Katowice from 2 to 14 December under Polish Presidency. Prominent on the agenda is the adoption of the rule book, which will make it possible for states to fully implement the climate agreement. It contains rules on the information contracting parties must provide on their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), on the reporting countries complete for their activities in the field of mitigation, adaptation and financing, and on the global stock-take. The Talanoa Dialogue, jointly hosted by Fiji and Poland, will serve as a platform for the states at COP 24 to discuss the international community’s progress in the field of emission reductions and how to step up their efforts. The recently published IPCC report will invigorate this discussion. Based on the outcome, the countries will be called upon to update or resubmit their NDCs by 2020.