With national delegates gathered in Krakow, Poland for negotiations ahead of this year’s United Nations climate conference (COP 24) in December, the World Resources Institute is calling for discussions that are substantive enough to keep the spirit of the Paris Agreement alive.
“The stakes of COP24 are high, and negotiators left the last round of negotiations in Bangkok with many critical unresolved issues,” writes Yamide Dagnet, WRI’s senior associate, international climate action. That makes the Krakow meeting, coming just two weeks after the release of the IPCC’s landmark report on 1.5°C pathways, “an important lead-in to the COP,” she adds. “It offers ministers the chance to provide frank insights regarding their expectations for COP 24 and to enhance mutual understanding of political priorities and views.”
To prepare the ground for a successful COP, Dagnet urges delegates to focus on four priorities: resolving several tough issues around international climate finance, finding common ground on the level of detail countries should communicate on their Paris commitments, moving closer to a transparent framework for reporting progress on the Paris goals, and setting the stage for the high-level Talanoa Dialogue at COP 24 to acknowledge the IPCC report. They all sound like incremental, bureaucratic steps—and they’re all essential to move the Paris deal toward implementation.
“In Bangkok, negotiators stumbled on two finance issues: what should happen to the information communicated by developed and other contributor countries on future climate finance; and whether to establish a process to set the post-2025 collective finance goal, beyond the US$100 billion a year that developed countries have already agreed to provide by 2020,” Dagnet writes. “Ministers will need to grapple with these issues and think pragmatically about what is essential to ensure predictability of climate finance, while respecting national budget or investment planning approaches.”
As far as national communication around Paris commitments, she explains that it isn’t easy to come up with a single approach when countries have gone in so many different directions with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the agreement.
And yet, “there are common, necessary information and accounting approaches that can and should be universally applied,” she writes. “On adaptation, the main challenge is generating the data to recognize and monitor adaptation efforts, since methodologies lag further behind those for mitigation.”