EU, UN seek compromise ahead of COP24 climate talks

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Cars queue in the usually heavy early morning traffic congestion on the Rue de la Loi, or Wetstraat, in the European district in central Brussels, Belgium, October 8, 2018. The world's leading body of climate scientists has warned for the need to keep temperature rise to 1.5 C.

Global greenhouse gas emissions set to increase in 2018, IEA warns


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Global greenhouse gas emissions are – yet again – set to increase in 2018 and “aggressive action” is needed to peak emissions, mainly with the help of energy efficiency and renewables, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned at PreCOP24 talks in Krakow, Poland, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said in a tweet.

The three-day informal talks – kicked off on October 22 by EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Austrian Sustainability Minister Elisabeth Köstinger, whose country holds the rotating EU Presidency – aim to prepare for the UN Climate Summit (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, where countries will gather with the aim to agree on the rulebook for the United Nations 2105 Paris Climate Agreement.

With COP24 only 40 days away, incoming COP24 President Kurtyka Michal urged ministers meeting in Krakow to find common ground and to seek compromise so that December conference in Katowice is a success.

Addressing the Business PreCOP24 in Krakow, UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad, said, “You have all highlighted that economic growth and tackling climate change are compatible. We need to have a Just Transition to low carbon, but time is running out.”

According to UNFCCC, there is $26 trillion worth of economic opportunities for the business community in Climate Action. “But we must both protect the climate and protect jobs,” the UN said.

UNFCCC stressed in a tweet that, as of last week, 181 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement. “No other multilateral, global agreement enjoys that kind of political commitment. We now need to unleash the Agreement’s full potential by finalizing its implementation guidelines,” Sarmad said in Krakow.

Referring to the Paris Agreement, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said, “I asked ministers and government delegates to take one central message back to their countries: That people of the world want us to achieve results at COP24 in December and that we intend to reach those goals.”

Earlier in October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its Special Report on October 8 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. The Special Report confirms that limiting climate change to 1.5°C is necessary to avoid the worst impacts and reduce the likelihood of extreme weather events., The report also demonstrates that human-induced global warming has already reached 1°C above pre-industrial levels and is increasing at approximately 0.2°C per decade.

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