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UN Will Complete Paris Rulebook This Year, With or Without the U.S.

The all-important administrative rulebook for implementing the Paris agreement will likely be completed this year, with or without the wholehearted participation of the United States, UN Climate Secretary Patricia Espinosa told military and security officials attending the Munich Security Conference last weekend.

“I very much hope that we can engage with the U.S. administration, that we can address their concerns, their doubts about the commitments to the Paris agreement,” she told Bloomberg, in an interview on the sidelines of the conference.

But “the urgency of the issue, the high expectations that are around the process, are putting strong pressure on the parties to really find ways of coming to compromises,” and “it would be very difficult for any party to bear the responsibility of having obstructed an agreement.”

Espinosa said the other 194 countries that signed the Paris agreement don’t have “any appetite” to renegotiate the historic pact, as Donald Trump periodically demands. Instead, at this year’s United Nations climate change summit in Katowice, Poland, negotiators “are expected to put the finishing touches on transparency and verification measures ensuring that industries and economies abide by emission rules.”

That will mean “concentrating on the painstaking task of writing the detailed rules that will bind countries to the agreement,” the news agency adds. “One big sticking point continues to be transparency,” with signatories debating the high cost of verification requirements that would be onerous for poor countries that are also among the most vulnerable to climate impacts.

While “some countries say everybody has to comply with the same rules,” Espinosa said, poorer countries maintain the costly accounting measures would “take them away from the more fundamental development issues.”