Five things to look out for at COP24 in Katowice next week
The following article has been partially informed by the article, What to Watch at the UN Climate Talks, written by Anna Hirtenstein, Ewa Krukowska and Mathew Carr for Bloomberg.
COP24 is knocking on our doorstep, with official climate talks kicking off in Katowice in just a few days. So what are some of the key topics and buzzwords to look out for as the conversation progresses? And what can we hope will come out of the climate talks in two weeks' time?
Here's what you should be looking out for at COP24 in Katowice next week:
The Paris Rulebook
The overarching goal of COP24 is to transform the Paris pledges into a series of rules governing how the world will drive down global emissions by creating a rulebook for the Paris Agreement.
Carbon markets are one way to make cutting emissions more affordable, giving polluters the option of buying carbon credits to offset their carbon footprints instead of investing directly into green projects and reducing emissions.
The UN is currently looking into setting up the Sustainable Development Mechanism, an international carbon emissions trading scheme.
...and Article 6
There will also be discussions on how to operationalise Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which lays out the legal framework to allow for the use of market-based climate change mitigation mechanisms, such as carbon trading.
Article 6 is also an entry point for the private sector to contribute to countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement – but the issue of 'double counting' and defining the role the private sector can play in Article 6 are yet to be determined.
Developing countries have not contributed to climate change as much as the industrialised world, and so should not bear the same responsibility. This is what the UN Climate Change Green Climate Fund was developed for – but so, far annual contributions by developed nations to climate-related projects in poorer countries have fallen short of the US $100 billion annual target.
We can expect to see discussions about measuring the flows of climate finance, and how such contributions to climate projects in the developing world should be administered.
The United States
President Trump pledged to pull out of the Paris Agreement in 2017, but might not if the pact is made more favourable to the US economy. We'll find out what that deal might be, and whether or not the United States sees through its commitment to exit the climate pact.
Climate adaptation raises the question of how we can build resilience and protect communities against more frequent and intensifying weather patterns such as drought, floods and storms.
Adaptation is a particular concern for the canaries in the coal mine of climate change; small Pacific islands and other countries that are already feeling the effects of climate change, through rising tides for example.
South Pole is sending our own team of climate and sustainability experts to Katowice in Poland next week – to view a full list of our team's engagements and speaking commitments, click here.