The UN Secretary-General said the Katowice package needs to deliver on a work programme that boosts ambition.
Guterres called for a “strong transparency framework to monitor and assess progress on all fronts,” including mitigation, adaptation and provision of support such as finance, capacity building and technology.
12 December 2018: The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres returned to Katowice, Poland, to urge delegates at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC to accelerate their efforts to reach consensus, boost their ambition and scale up their financial contributions on climate change. He called on delegates to agree on a “flexible but robust set of rules” to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change to ensure transparent climate action.
Speaking during the high-level closing of the Talanoa Dialogue, Guterres warned delegates that to waste the opportunity to address climate change in Katowice “would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change,” stressing it would “not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.” He reminded delegates of the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15) and three additional reports released at COP 24 that “added to the long list of warning signals”: the World Health Organization (WHO) COP 24 special report on health and climate change; the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) global status report highlighting opportunities for a zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings and construction sector; and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research on the first signs of significant melting of glaciers in East Antarctica. Guterres cautioned that the world is “running out of time.”
To waste the opportunity to stop runaway climate change in Katowice would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.
On the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), the UN Secretary-General said the Katowice package needs to deliver on a work programme that boosts ambition, reminding delegates that Parties imposed the 2018 deadline upon themselves at COP 22. Guterres underscored the importance of building trust through a “strong transparency framework to monitor and assess progress on all fronts,” including mitigation, adaptation and provision of support such as finance, capacity building and technology. He stressed the urgency of concluding agreement on a formula that is “fair and effective for all” and “balances the responsibilities of all countries.”
On financing, Guterres further reminded delegates that developed countries have an obligation to support developing countries’ efforts, as established by the UNFCCC. He welcomed financial announcements made at COP 24, including by the World Bank, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the private sector, while urging developed nations to “scale up their contributions to jointly mobilize US$100 billion annually by 2020” and to strengthen the Green Climate Fund (GCF). He observed that it is difficult to explain to those suffering from the effects of climate change that “we have not managed to find predictable support” for necessary actions.
The UN Secretary-General concluded by urging countries to demonstrate “the political will to move forward” and challenging COP 24 to accelerate and “finish the job” to raise ambition on all fronts. [UNFCCC News Story] [UN News Story] [UN Secretary-General Statement] [IISD ENB Coverage of COP 24]