Article / 23 Oct, 2018
Preparatory Meeting for Key Climate Change Conference Opens in Krakow

UN Climate Change News, 23 October 2018 - The Pre-COP was opened today in Krakow, Poland to prepare for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) to be held in Katowice, Poland in December this year.

The pre-COP is traditionally organized by the incoming presidency of the COP to prepare for the conference. The incoming Polish presidency has invited Ministers from 35 countries to the pre-COP to lay the foundation for a successful outcome at COP24.

At the opening, High-level representatives urged countries to speed up work and to identify possible bridging proposals in the negotiations on the guidelines that will tell the world how to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement fairly and transparently for all. 

Polish Minister of Environment Mr. Henryk Kowalczyk referred to the latest special report Global Warming of 1.5C of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), saying that its findings underline that without rapid climate action by all, temperature increases would be difficult to keep in check.

Agreeing to the implementation guidelines at COP24 was essential and that Heads of State and Government had been invited to the COP.

“The presence of Heads of State at COP24 sends a strong political signal that the COP is of the highest importance,” he said.

The full implementation of the Paris Agreement means that practical actions will be unlocked with respect to all elements of the climate regime that countries are building:

       o   adaptation to climate change impacts

       o   ambitious emission reductions,

       o   with strong means of implementation to support developing countries, in the form of technology cooperation, capacity building, and, especially financial support.

These elements all need to function together in an inter-connected and transparent manner.

Incoming Polish COP president Michal Kurtyka urged countries to leave the Paris Agreement stronger than they found it. He underlined that finalizing the implementation guidelines was critical to maintaining the credibility of the process.

“The IPCC’s report leaves no other choice but to finalise the implementation guidelines,” he stressed.

Without the guidelines, there would be no framework for the next round of nationally determined contributions, the climate plans in which countries detail what they will contribute to global climate action. Additionally, without the guidelines, ambition would suffer.

At the Pre-COP, the invited Ministers will discuss key elements of the implementation guidelines, including:

       o   clarity on climate finance now and in the long-term;

       o   clarity on actions to adapt to the consequences of climate change;

       o   how actions can be regularly and transparently communicated; and

       o   which anticipated climate actions could be captured by countries in their nationally determined contributions. 

Mr. Kurtyka concluded saying: “I urge Ministers to push the process forward into its final stretch.”

The Presiding Officers, who chair the bodies under which the negotiations are taking place, briefed Ministers on key aspects of work. Relevant documents relating to this can be viewed here.

Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa strongly urged progress. She highlighted the fact that according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), emissions from the energy sector were on the rise.

Negotiations had not made balanced progress over the past year at a time when the urgency had never been greater.

“Success at COP24 means finalizing the Paris Agreement Work Program (....) I ask all of you to take one message back to your countries: that people of the world want us to achieve results at COP24 and we intend to reach those goals.”

Her full statement can be read here.

The Pre-COP will see substantive discussions today and tomorrow before closing tomorrow afternoon (24 October).

Read also about key conclusions of the Business PreCOP24 here.