The Katowice Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 24) took place on 2 – 15 December in Katowice Poland and brought together around 20,000 participants. The main task at hand for the negotiations was to complete the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) and adopt a rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement. On late 15 December, Parties adopted the “Katowice Climate Package”, which contains decisions on almost all issues mandated as part of the PAWP, except issues related to the sustainable development mechanism, market mechanisms and non-market approaches in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. These will be solved in the coming year in order to adopt them at the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25), which will be held in Chile.
The year-long Talanoa Dialogue process led by Fiji concluded at the COP 24. The Talanoa Dialogue served as the first collective stocktake of Parties’ collective efforts in relation to progress towards the long-term temperature goal referred to in the Paris Agreement. The preparatory phase of the dialogue ended in the first week of the COP 24 with the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C as a major input together with a Synthesis Report of the inputs received through the Talanoa Dialogue Platform, to provide a foundation for the political phase during the second week of the conference. The political phase consisted of an opening meeting, 21 Ministerial Talanoas and a closing meeting. Non-Party stakeholders, including regional and local leaders ,were able to participate in the Ministerial Talanoas, with nrg4SD member the State of São Paulo being one of them. At the closing session of the Talanoa Dialogue, the Talanoa Call for Action was delivered by youth champions Timoci Naulusala from Fiji and Hanna Wojdowska from Poland calling for stepping up ambition in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Global Climate Action
The 8-day programme of the Global Climate Action saw a high-level opening in the main plenary, highlighting the importance of cooperation between state and non-Party actors, the presentation of the 2018 Yearbook, as well as a number of thematic events, including the Marrakech Partnership Human Settlements Action Event: Integrated and Multilevel Action to Raise Ambition on 7 December. The event was coordinated by nrg4SD, Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, and ICLEI, and consisted of three sessions: i) Integrated climate action for low-carbon and resilient societies; ii) Raising ambition: sectoral progress and achievements, with a special focus on the buildings and construction sector; iii) Looking forward: financing multilevel action. The first session, organised by nrg4SD, showed that climate action can be integrated in several ways. On the one hand, it refers to integrating climate goals with broader developmental or sustainability goals, on the other climate action can also be integrated vertically, i.e., via multi-level governance. nrg4SD members Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Centre Nord and São Paulo shared their views on the sorts of climate actions that can best be taken at the regional level.
Initiatives of the Polish Presidency
The Polish Presidency issued three declarations in the framework of the COP 24:
- The Driving Change Together Partnership for Electromobility and Zero Emission Transport is dedicated to technological and organisational change towards zero emission transport. Maintaining the current rate of development, including the development of urban agglomerations and megacities, while keeping the current model of transport and the dominant types of propulsion and energy sources, is incompatible with the promotion of a sustainable transport model and the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels.
- Declaration on fair transformation under the motto: Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration is dedicated to ensuring a fair and solidarity-based transformation that will help to protect the climate while maintaining economic development and jobs. Development should be economically, socially, environmentally and climatically responsible. That is why the path we want to follow is socially and environmentally sustainable development, with an emphasis on modernisation, technological change and the implementation of innovations enabling more efficient and environmentally friendly use of resources.
- The Silesian Ministerial Declaration “Forests for Climate” on the conservation and increase of carbon stocks in greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs until 2050 indicates the key role of sinks and will help to achieve the objective set out by the Paris Agreement
The nrg4SD and its members had the chance to share their position and achievements through a number of events organised, co-organised and supported by the nrg4SD:
On 5 December the nrg4SD participated in the European Economic Congress Green session “Smart City and eco-development”, which discussed challenges especially for cities in climate change, sustainable development and air pollution.
The Marrakech Partnership Human Settlements Action Event: Integrated and Multilevel Action to Raise Ambition on 7 December was followed by the side event “Implementation of non-state climate policies and targets” organised by the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) in collaboration with the Centre For Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy (IEFE) of Bocconi University Milan and the Foundation for Gaia. São Paulo discussed with other participants on recent developments and ways forward in non-state climate action, both in adaptation and mitigation.
On the same day, the nrg4SD and the State of São Paulo participated in ICLEI’s event on the role of networks of local and regional governments in multilevel action with a special focus on the Talanoa Dialogue. Participants stressed the importance of regional and local governments in climate action and raising ambition.
Later that day, the nrg4SD presented the RegionsAdapt initiative in the Capacity-building Hub of the Paris Committee on Capacity-Building. The event “RegionsAdapt – Capacity-building through cooperation” saw the participation of the BC3 and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, both partners to the RegionsAdapt initiative.
The nrg4SD, together with the South Asian Co-operative Environment Programme and the government of Bangladesh, held the official side event “Integrating adaptation and the SDGs – The potential of multi-level governance” on 13 December. The event showcased how the Basque Country, the State of São Paulo, as well as South Asian countries approach the integration of the two agendas and how multi-level governance can enhance effectiveness in this regard.
Launch of RegionsAdapt report
On 8 December 2018, the nrg4SD in collaboration with CDP launched for the third consecutive year the RegionsAdapt Report, this time called RegionsAdapt 2018 Report: Multi-level governance in climate change adaptation. During the launch event, RegionsAdapt and nrg4SD members Québec and CONGOPE presented approaches on climate change adaptation within their regions, stressing the importance of actions on the local and regional level, as well as of cooperation among different regions.
The report contains data from 38 regional governments, demonstrating an increasing number of RegionsAdapt members, who disclose their data on climate risks and adaptation efforts and that nowadays more regional governments are taking the effects of climate change seriously. The third annual report of the initiative again uses the data provided by members of the initiative as one of the commitments they agreed when joining the initiative. It is divided into four sections: Multi-level governance in climate adaptation, Impacts of climate change and associated adaptation actions, Water supply risks and adaptation actions at a regional level and Socio-economic vulnerability from climate change and related adaptation options.
The report is based on the fact that the current National Determined Contributions (NDCs) do not contain sufficient actions to limit global warming to well below 2°C. Therefore, adaptation is an urgent necessity for all and in order to develop and implement effective adaptation strategies, all levels of government need to be involved in the process. In this context, the report shows that more than half of the disclosing regions are already involved in the adaptation planning of their national governments and almost all of the disclosing regional governments work closely with their local counterparts.
In regard to climate risks, the report includes current and future risks resulting from climate change impacts showing185 physical risks, as well as 97 socio-economic risks and 79 risks to regional governments’ water supply and in response to these, there are 165 adaptation actions that address the physical risks, 42 additional actions responding to socioeconomic risks, and 61 additional adaptation actions addressing water supply risks resulting from climate change. In addition, this year the RegionsAdapt report includes a deeper explanation on socio-economic risks showing that 32 out of the 38 reporting regions confirmed to face this kind of risks and that the most prominent ones are the risk to already vulnerable populations, health risks and increased incidence and prevalence of diseases.
In summary, the report shows that regional governments are well aligned to the implementation of the agreement that aims to benefit people from all walks of life, especially the most vulnerable and that regional governments continue to strive for successful climate adaptation despite the still current obstacles to overcome.
More information about the COP 24 and the commitments achieved during these two weeks, as well as the nrg4SD activities at COP 24 can be found in our Wrap Up Edition of COP 24 to be released in early January 2019.