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15.12.2018

United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice adopts globally applicable rulebook for climate action

The international community has agreed on a joint rule book for implementating of the Paris Agreement. From 2024, there will be uniform binding minimum standards for reporting by the states.

After three years of negotiations, the international community has agreed on a joint rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement. From 2024, there will be uniform binding minimum standards on how countries report their greenhouse gas emissions and other climate measures. To date, such uniform standards only applied to developed countries subject to the Kyoto Protocol, that are responsible for less than 15 percent of emissions.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze stated: "In Paris in 2015, we decided that we all wanted to combat climate change together. We now have agreement on how we will go about it. We have ensured that it will no longer be just half the world showing their cards on climate action, but the whole of the international community. The Paris Agreement is based on mutual trust that all parties will play their part in the fight against climate change. That is why it is vital for each to see what the others are doing. Moreover, Katowice sends the message that we cannot stand still on climate action, but must continually improve together."

In Paris in 2015, we agreed that countries will submit reviewed and, as far as possible, more ambitious NDCs by 2020 at the latest. The EU member states jointly communicate their NDCs to the United Nations. New pledges will then be made every five years. Each new NDC must represent a progression beyond the Party's current one. In Katowice, the international community laid down minimum standards governing what information the NDCs should contain in order to make them comparable.

In future, the success of the NDCs will also be measured and reported on according to a single set of rules. The new standards will apply to developed countries from 2022, and to emerging economies and developing countries as of 2024. This means that global greenhouse gas emissions will then be measured and reported to the United Nations transparently using comparable standards.

From 2023 a global stocktake on the progress made in climate action will be carried out every five years. The rulebook agreed in Katowice specifies which information this stocktake must include, in order to give as complete and realistic a picture as possible.

The question of whether countries should be allowed to achieve their NDCs through market mechanisms like emissions trading in other countries as well, will be clarified at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference in Chile in 2019. The German government believes that further negotiations are needed to rule out loopholes which could jeopardise the positive climate effect of such mechanisms.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze noted: "In these difficult negotiations, Europe did more than speak with one voice – we Europeans actively and resolutely campaigned for robust and clear climate action rules. In our commitment to climate action and solidarity, we placed ourselves shoulder-to-shoulder with the countries that are hardest hit by climate change. The result achieved in Katowice also marks a success for multilateralism. In these geopolitically difficult times, COP24 has proved it pays off to persevere in seeking global consensus."

15.12.2018 | Pressreport No. 258/18 | Climate