Published: Tue, December 18, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Climate change negotiators agree on Paris Agreement rule book

Climate change negotiators agree on Paris Agreement rule book

Participants attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3, 2018.

Almost 200 nations overcame political divisions on Saturday to agree on rules for implementing a landmark global climate deal, but critics say it is not ambitious enough to prevent the unsafe effects of global warming.

After two weeks of talks in the southern Polish city, diplomats were coming closer to agreeing on the rules that govern the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Almost 200 nations agreed to enforce rules on implementing the Paris Agreement. Similar efforts will be made at the worldwide level. "You can feel proud", Polish president of the talks Michal Kurtyka told delegates.

"This was not an easy task".

The final rules set a timeline for countries to update each other, and includes highly technical guidelines for what types of information they must provide, such as sources of emissions and explanations of their internal analyses. The new decisions also allay some of the concerns about the opaqueness of future financing - though not after 2025.

Schulze told reporters on the sidelines of United Nations climate talks in Poland that investing in developing technologies to protect the climate will give Germany "an enormous competitive advantage".

The world climate conference has agreed on an implementation agreement for the Paris climate Treaty.

One major sticking point was how to create a functioning market in carbon credits.

There are also calls for all countries to increase their carbon cutting commitments by 2020.

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So what was the U.S. role in the talks? The IPCC report that caused so much division at the negotiations found that to keep warming capped at 1.5 degrees there needs to be a dramatic overhaul of the global economy, including a shift away from fossil fuels. Instead, the final statement merely welcomes the "timely completion" of the IPCC report and shuns a stance on its conclusions. The decisions were "1000 small steps forward", he said.

"Those rules, known as the 'transparency framework, ' are vital to the success of the Paris Agreement".

One veteran of global climate talks said it wasn't unusual for negotiations to hit a crisis toward the end, as exhausted negotiators try to reconcile a complex set of drafts with their national interests.

Kurtyka, president of the COP24, told Xinhua in an interview that China has been playing a "fundamental role" in pushing for a concrete outcome.

The Malaysian delegation called for more money to flow from countries like the USA - the world's largest economy and the second largest polluter - to help pay for damage caused by climate change, saying, "We owe this to the poor and vulnerable who are paying sometimes with their lives in our part of the world".

Observers say China, now on the track of green, low-carbon and renewable development with its effective climate policies, holds extra sway in the negotiations.

India has expressed its reservation over the lack of equity in the rules relating to global stock-taking in implementing the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

Chile will host the UN's next climate conference in December 2019 or January 2020, the country's Environment Ministry announced on Friday.

The country is also well positioned to meet its target of carbon dioxide emissions peaking by 2030, and even accomplishing that sooner than planned, according to Xie.

"This loophole needs to be closed so zombie credits from the old (Kyoto) Clean Development Mechanism can not infect the climate integrity of the Paris Agreement", he said.

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