EEC 2019

15.12.2018 26th plenary meeting of the CMA (upon completion of COP plenary)

On Saturday, late in the evening, the UN climate summit in Katowice adopted an outcome document of the COP24 conference, the so-called “Katowice Climate Package”. The document is a “road map” of the implementation of the Paris Agreement of 2015.

  • The agreement mentions that there are other ways to counteract climate change than reduction in CO2 emissions. It also lists the absorption of carbon dioxide by nature resources, such as forests.
  • We are guided by a sense of humanism and commitment to the welfare of Earth - said Michal Kurtyka, president of COP24, during the final COP24 plenary session.
  • We need enhanced ambition to defeat climate change; this is supported by scientific evidence - said UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.


On Saturday, late in the evening, the UN climate summit in Katowice adopted an outcome document of the COP24 conference, the so-called “Katowice Climate Package”. The document is a “road map” of the implementation of the Paris Agreement of 2015.

The proposal of the outcome document was published on Saturday evening. Then, the Katowice Climate Package was presented at the COP plenary session, which began around 9.30 PM.  During the session, Michal Kurtyka, president of COP24, asked participants whether they opposed to particular points of the document. There were none, so he announced that the outcome document was adopted. Decisions of the UN are taken unanimously, through consensus.

The Paris Agreement of 2015 was the first global climate agreement that obliged everyone to act for the climate. At the time, the parties agreed to take action to keep global warming at the level of two degrees Celsius - and if possible 1.5 degrees Celsius - above the average temperatures recorded before the industrial revolution.

The agreement mentions that there are other ways to counteract climate change than reduction in CO2 emissions. It also lists the absorption of carbon dioxide by nature resources, such as forests.

The climate summit in Katowice began on Sunday, December 2.

A sense of humanism and commitment to the welfare of Earth

 
We are guided by a sense of humanism and commitment to the welfare of Earth – said Michal Kurtyka, president of COP24, during the final COP24 plenary session, in the course of which the parties adopted the outcome conference document, the so-called “Katowice Climate Package”.

Prior to the commencement of negotiations, Kurtyka stipulated that it was difficult to reach that point. “I would like to remind you once again that our efforts are not just about working on the text and leaving home with the largest profits for our national interests” - he stressed.

 “We are guided by a sense of humanism and commitment to the welfare of Earth, which feeds us and future generations” - indicated the president of COP24. “You've been working on this package for three years”.

As he noted, it is not easy to agree on a detailed technical agreement when there are representatives of 200 countries in one room. “In these circumstances, every step forward is a great achievement. As part of the work on this package, you have made a thousand such steps" - he added.

He assured that the Polish Presidency, with the support of the secretariat staff, worked relentlessly to finalise the agreement. “We did our best to listen to and take into account your conclusions. We did what we could to make sure that no one feels left out” - Kurtyka emphasized.

“We did everything to ensure transparency, integrity and inclusiveness of this process up to the last minute of COP24” - he added, thanking the officials of the conference, experts and the team of ministers for their help and good advice.

“Most importantly, we took advantage of your trust, support and friendly attitude” - he said to the participants of COP24. “Your words and your support were invaluable and allowed us to move forward. The task was not easy - it was difficult and intimidating, we often felt this way, but we were pushing forward” - he stressed.

Then, Kurtyka began the process of accepting the negotiated documents to - as he emphasized - continue building systems and institutions that will implement the Paris Agreement and its operationalization. “Balance is very fragile. We all have to give something to get something back. We all have to look to the future with confidence and take another step towards humanity” - he appealed.

“Your work is your achievement, something that the world is waiting for” - emphasized Kurtyka. “I trust that if you have seen something that is not satisfying in this text, it is balanced with something else that satisfies you” - he stressed.

“I hope you think that the parties’ interests have been balanced in a fair way, and that the overall impact of this package is positive for the world, because it will allow us to take another big step towards realizing the ambitions included and secured in the Paris Agreement” - the president of COP24 indicated.

“This is an ambition that aims to ensure that our children and grandchildren can look at their heritage and appreciate that their parents and grandparents made the right decisions at a moment like this” - added Kurtyka.

We need enhanced ambition to defeat climate change


We need enhanced ambition to defeat climate change; this is supported by scientific evidence - said Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, in a message to the participants of the COP24 conference in Katowice that ends on Saturday.

In a letter read by the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa, Guterres assessed that “Katowice has shown once more the resilience of the Paris Agreement”.  He noted that the Paris Agreement is a “solid road map for climate action”.

“The approval of the Paris Agreement Work Programme is the basis for a transformative process which will require strengthened ambition from the international community. Science has clearly shown that we need enhanced ambition to defeat climate change.” - highlighted the UN Secretary General.

“From now on, my five priorities will be: ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition and ambition. I am talking about ambition in mitigation, ambition in adaptation, ambition in finance, ambition in technical cooperation and capacity-building and finally ambition in technological innovation” - Guterres explained.

“Ambition will be at the centre of the Climate Summit that I will convene in September 2019. Ambition must guide all Member States as they prepare their nationally determined contributions for 2020 to reverse the present trend in which climate change is still running faster than us” - he stipulated.

“It is our duty to reach for more and I count on all of you to raise ambitions so that we can beat back climate change” - appealed the UN Secretary-General.

Guterres also thanked the Polish presidency, for its contribution and work and for hosting the COP24 summit in Katowice. He also thanked secretary Espinos, without whom - as he stated - the success of the climate summit in Katowice would not be possible. He then thanked her team and all member states - for their commitment and dedication.


 
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