boell.de-Great expectations, low execution: The Katowice climate change conference COP 24

 

 

Assessement. The Katowice climate package brings minor progress, but COP 24 failed to deliver on the most fundamental issues such as raising ambition of national contributions, implementing human rights, and ensuring support for developing countries.

 

 

The Katowice Climate Package, a compilation of Paris Rulebook documents – without rules for carbon trading – was adopted at COP 24 along with other decisions and action points that bring minor progress in specific areas such as finance, gender, and indigenous peoples. But overall, COP 24 failed to deliver on the most fundamental issues such as raising ambition of national contributions, implementing human rights in the Paris Rulebook, and ensuring fair and reliable support for developing countries to assist them in their efforts to combat global warming and its effects.

This detailed analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High expectations for high ambitions

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, released 8 October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body that assesses the science related to climate change, sounded a last minute alarm to save the world.

 

 

Its key messages are unwavering: limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C is feasible only if carbon emissions are reduced by half by 2030 – only 11 years from now – and reach “net zero” by 2050. Such radical emissions cuts will require massive transformations in the global energy and transport systems, and the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems.

 

 

So optimism was high for increased ambition – on emissions reductions by all countries and scaled-up finance for developing countries to implement those reductions – among the more than 22,000 participants at the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP 24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, a city in Poland’s coal-producing heartland, which began on 2 December, nearly three years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

 

 

An early – and dramatic – push-back on climate ambition

What should have been the routine adoption of a document under a subsidiary body (SBSTA – the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice), which compiled scientific studies published in 2018 – including the IPCC Special Report – transformed into high drama during a mid-session plenary on 8 December. The document merely “noted” the IPCC report but the Maldives, speaking for the 44 members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) – among the countries most vulnerable to climate change – proposed to “welcome” the report. They were supported by nearly every nation in the world.

 

 

But not the United States. “As the United States stated at the IPCC plenary on October 6, acceptance of the report and approval of the Summary for Policy Makers by the IPCC does not imply endorsement of the specific findings or the underlying contents by the United States.” Kuwait, the Russian Federation, and Saudi Arabia rapidly stood behind the US. Saudi Arabia and a few of its oil-exporting partners had also fought to water down the IPCC report’s conclusions at its session in October, even trying to eliminate all mentions of the Paris Agreement.

 

 

The plenary was abruptly suspended and, after more than an hour, compromise language to “welcome the effort of the IPCC experts” was roundly rejected. Under UN rules, with no consensus, the document was scrapped.

 

 

The COP final decision agreed one week later found compromise language which “Welcomes the timely completion” of the report and “Invites Parties to make use” of its information. But that stand-off set the tone for the remainder of the talks.

 

Read more...

Go back

CBFP News

Forests play a key role in tackling climate change

This briefing note from Coordination SUD and Fern analyses the issues we need to address to ensure forests help deliver tropical forested countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This includes respect for communities’ rights and preserving their livelihoods, protecting and restoring biodiversity, and improved forest governance. Tackling these challenges will require effective civil society participation.

Read more …

Cbd-Zero Draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework published by the Secretariat

The Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has been tasked with advancing preparations for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. It is expected that this process will culminate in the adoption of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework by the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, at the UN Biodiversity Conference in 2020 in Kunming, China as a stepping stone towards achieving the 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature".

Read more …

Ecozona-The Screaming Forest: An Ecocritical Assessment of Le Cri de la forêt

From a postcolonial ecocritical standpoint, this essay analyzes the play Le Cri de la forêt (2015) co-authored by Henri Djombo, a cabinet minister from Congo-Brazzaville, and Osée Colin Koagne, a stage director and environmental activist from Francophone Cameroon. Mindful of the rich biodiversity of the Congo Basin where the playwrights originate, the essay interrogates why the forest in the play is screaming and moves on to engage with related ecological questions such as the scapegoating of witchcraft and doubtful traditional beliefs amidst climate change.

Read more …

FERN: Five EU forest trends to watch out for in 2020 & Save the Date - February 2020 (Brussels)

In 2019, forests and forest peoples’ rights rose up the global political – and spiritual - agenda, and the EU made high profile commitments to protect forests abroad and at home as part of their European Green Deal.  But will 2020 see such commitments turned into action? Here are five questions we hope to give positive answers to at the end of the year...

Read more …

Overview and analyses of key national policies, strategies and action plans relevant to deforestation, child and forced labour, and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon

The overarching objective of this study is to identify laws and policies on deforestation, child labour, force labour and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon, and analyze how these policies support the private sector to align with the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber. This review clearly demonstrates that both government and private sector can achieve targets of curbing deforestation and ensuring effective respect of human rights along the supply chains of the selected commodities.

Read more …

Statement on the situation of wildlife in the Congo Basin (and in Cameroon in particular) - Resolving Conservation Conflicts in West/Central African Protected Areas

The statement is the outcome of a meeting of various CBFP partners at the Congo Basin Institute in Yaounde:  ...We are a group of scientists, including faculty members from respected universities in Cameroon and abroad, representatives of protected areas management units, law enforcement organisations (LAGA), rangers, and international organisations (TRAFFIC, WWF). In October 2019, we met in Yaoundé to assess the current status of conservation in the country and discuss ways forward to solve what we consider to be a conservation crisis...

Read more …

Final Communiqué of the Experts’ Meeting to Follow up on the N’Djamena Conference on The Sahel-Congo Basin Roadmap on the Operational Implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration Synthesis

The Kingdom of Belgium Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), in close collaboration with the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, hosted from 16 to 17 December 2019 in Douala, Cameroon, the Experts’ Meeting for the follow up of the International conference on Security, Poaching, Transhumance Management and the Movements of Armed Groups between the Sahel and Equatorial Africa.

Read more …

CAFI and EU join forces for the future of Central African Forests

Brussels, 4 November:  As part of growing commitments from donors to Central African forests and people, matching growing concern about accelerating forest loss of Earth’s 2nd lung, the  European Commission signed a15 million euros (16 million dollars) funding agreement to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) Trust Fund.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive