Liam McHugh, WCA Policy Manager, reflects on the recent COP24 climate talks in Poland, where negotiators finally agreed on a range of measures that will make the Paris Agreement operational in 2020.
Agreeing a detailed rulebook was always going to be challenging and the plenary session, originally meant to be held on Friday, was delayed six times before the 156-page rulebook was eventually adopted on Saturday evening.
The ‘Katowice Climate Package’
Aiming to deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2°C, the Katowice climate agreement will have significant implications for the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Current NDCs were submitted in the lead-up to the Paris Agreement and, as a result, information included in the submissions varies widely. A common framework has now been delivered to ensure that more detail is included on mitigation and adaptation actions.
The updated rulebook is designed to foster trust around nations’ climate actions and support countries to communicate their NDCs every five years, with governments producing a transparency report every two years.
Beyond the negotiations
As ever, official side-events and country pavilions held sessions covering a variety of climate action themes, including a greater focus on carbon capture use and storage (CCUS). This could reflect a growing interest in the critical role that these technologies can play in meeting climate targets. The Global CCS Institute launched the 2018 ‘Global Status of CCS’ report.
The US held an event that focused on innovation in fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg discussed the efforts of the Department of Energy to advance CCUS and pointed to nascent work in small modular coal facilities.
WCA at the climate talks
As the only organisation that works on a global basis on behalf of the coal industry, WCA is committed to supporting progress at the climate talks and assisting the 24 countries that have already identified a role for low emission coal technologies in their NDCs.
Further information on WCA’s engagement at COP24 is here.