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The Youth Press Agency is an initiative of youth participation through the creative use of new and traditional tools of communication and information. 
Promoted by: Viração Educomunicação (Brazil), Viração&Jangada (Italy), Fundación TierraVida (Argentina) and ClimaLab (Colombia). 
The Youth Press Agency is an initiative of youth partecipation through the creative use of new and traditional tools of communication and information promoted by the association Viração&Jangada in collaboration with the association In Medias Res, associations of youth and schools.
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26/12/2018, 12:01

COP24, COP25, Katowice, Chile, IPCCC, CAN


 An analysis of COP24 gives both positive and negative feedback: negotiators achieved some important results, but they also raised big problems. This turns the next COP into a decisive meeting... And a challenge for the hosting country, Chile.

During these weeks of negotiations at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice (Poland), everyone was waiting for the confirmation of a Latin American country as the one in charge of hosting the next conference (COP25). Chile and Costa Rica sounded like the most likely candidates to be the hosts, after Brazil withdrew its offer to chair the COP25 in 2019, arguing budgetary difficulties and the transition process of the newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro.

In a plenary near the end of the Conference, Chile was announced as the country that will be in charge of the titanic mission of presiding over this conference in the Latin American region. Costa Rica, meanwhile, announced that would support Chile and also host a previous conference, known as PreCOP. The challenges for Chile will be enormous, taking into account the critical situation in which the climate negotiations are taking place, since the progress made at COP24 has not been as expected.

During the negotiations, countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the US showed disinterest about the warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report, which expressed the urgency to increase the ambition targets in order to limit the global warming below 1,5º C, contrasted with the serious impacts of a 2ºC scenario, the latter being the most probable with the current commitments.  Meanwhile, Poland (the host country) was awarded the "Fossil of the year", initiated by Climate Action Network (CAN) as a form of repudiation for the position of President Duda, who affirmed that Poland is capable of using coal for the next 200 years.

Finally, after four years, when UN climate talks has been held across Atlantic, the opportunity is going to the Americas and much more important to a Latin American country. With this, it is expected to accelerate the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement and to better integrate regional visions, where the increase of ambition, adaptation to climate change and financing are priorities. In this way, the benefits for the region will be considerable, specially for Chile, because who could become a leader in the matter.

However, it is evident that this Latin American country has yet to face some challenges and difficulties, such as the fact that the current government has yet not signed the Escazú Agreement. This demonstrates a lack of commitment and political will with this regional agreement that seeks to guarantee access to information, community participation and justice in environmental matters. In addition, Chile is  expected to assume a high commitment at the diplomatic and logistic levels, as well as to face the financial challenges that implies to hold a conference of this level, where approximate 20,000 people participate for two weeks each year.

The challenges and opportunities are diverse. It will be the task of both Chile and the region to assume them with the importance that they deserve. Organizing a great conference that will achieve the ambition that is needed in order to avoid the catastrophic consequences alerted by scientists could be a great contribution of Chile.

Jhoanna Cifuentes, ClimaLabTranslate: Iryna Galiuk, ClimaLab
24/12/2018, 16:38

Chile, UNO, COP25, transparency, YOUNGO, Katowice, USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, IPCC, global warming


 The XIV UN Conference on Climate Change touched many fundamental questions for the fight against global warming, raised many problems and found some solutions. Although they have agreed on a few points, the negotiators left a lot to the next COP.

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change, better known as COP24, was held from 3 to 15 December of this year in Katowice, Poland. This annual meeting is an international event that brings together hundreds of institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, activists, foundations and people from around the world around a common cause, the global environmental problem. In that sense, the 24th edition of the Conference of the Parties concluded last Saturday is important for two fundamental aspects: The latest report published by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) on the increase in global temperature by 1.5 ° C in relation to the pre-industrial era; that marks a before and after in terms of the scientific basis and accumulation of evidence on climate change and its effects was to be adopted.

The publication of the last report of the panel, that the same COP that invites to carry out such studies, represents the definitive defeat of the negationist current used by authorities like the president of the United States -Donald Trump- to delegitimize the importance about the topic. The second aspect has to do with the Paris agreement signed 3 years ago in this same negotiation space, at the headquarters of the French capital. This document establishes an effective reduction that represents at least 55% of global emissions of greenhouse gases, a measure that begins to be effective as of 2020.

In relation to the participation of the countries, we see that there are two very different blocks in terms of their positioning. The conservative block , politically correct, but lacking real commitment to the pending agenda of the climate struggle, basically its own market interests prevail. The second is the block that defends the effective fulfillment of the Paris agreement, and that knows that ambitions must increase in the next decade if we really want to avoid reaching the point of no return, from which the Earth-System will not be able to return to its normal condition (regeneration process) and where the ability of human predictability on its effects will be completely zero. To this block belongs the countries that joint the "High Ambition Coalition", a group of countries that committed to reach higher reduction of emissions to 2030.On this element the diatribes that led to a very diplomatic formulation of acceptance, in order to fight the resistance of the opposing countries, were not lacking.The IPCC report was NOT included in the final document of the COP event because four countries do not agree with the inclusion of the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The reasons seem more than obvious: they are not willing to give up their energy matrix for the global fight against climate. In this sense, it is evident that the most important and influential authorities in the world have no interest in supporting themselves in the science that they finance and defend, limiting themselves to having empirical evidence as a reference, and not as the central support. of the climate action plan.

As a remarkable point of these two weeks of negotiation in Poland, was the leading participation of the island countries, who were present in the working committees and decision spaces actively. Proof of this was the intervention of Maldives in the final plenary of the event where he warned that "we are only 12 years of being able to reach 1.5 ° C and that the effects of global warming will affect countries unevenly, so it is necessary take more severe and effective measures. " The situation of island countries such as the Pacific Islands and their different Confederations is extremely serious because accompanied by the increase in temperature the sea level will also rise, causing the collapse of isolated territories and the death of entire communities, all this It can occur after 2030, according to the latest IPCC report.

The countries with the highest degree of climatic vulnerability are Egypt and Ethiopia, who spoke on behalf of the G77 + China, questioning the lack of commitment of the developed countries towards the fulfillment of the agreements already agreed by the Parties, such as the Paris agreement. In the same way, Malaysia has expressed its discontent for not having addressed the concept of Climate Equality in a holistic way, understanding that all countries deserve the cooperation of multilateralism and that the geographical size of the country should not be a criterion for prioritizing support or financing by the international organization.

Perhaps the most representative point of the COP24 has to do with the issue of Transparency, since from now - the Transparency Framework - a set of binding rules is established for all countries to submit periodic reports in relation to the climatic actions adopted. In addition, each country will have the obligation to present a National Adaptation Plan detailing all the actions planned for the next years and the procedures used to comply with it. Both points are unprecedented in the multilateral agreements prior to the one approved in Katowice by the 197 countries present. At the same time, the Platform of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities was created, which represents an important step in the consolidation of a permanent space of participation and synergy with the other representations of the Convention, which aims to take into account the holistic vision of ancestral peoples as guardians of nature. This space will be composed of communities from the seven socio-cultural regions of the world, and will meet twice a year to implement a Work Plan for 2020. In the same way, the intervention of the Representations of Women and Gender had a great prominence in Poland. The role of women in the different axes of Climate Change such as water, agriculture, food security, biodiversity and others is gaining the collective recognition of organizations and has its own agenda for the future.However - despite the fact that a global financing of 5.5 billion dollars was approved for the implementation of 93 proposals for financing for adaptation and mitigation in 96 developing countries - the COP24 did not live up to the expectations of the group of environmental organizations, research institutions, indigenous communities, local people, young people and activists who attended the event from all regions of the world.The Women and Gender Constituency’s actions were very strong and said that there is no reference to human rights in the text,  in spite of the many meetings and proposals on this point.

Also YOUNGO - the international constituent that brings together young people from everyone, stood in front of the world leaders reiterating that "they are far from being ambitious" and "compromise the future of future generations", "our future" they said.

However, although the Paris agreement is in force, there is no guide to how this set of good intentions can be transformed into concrete actions after 2020, above all in terms of the systematic reduction of gas emissions , that nowadays are inevitable product of the economic matrix of several states parties. Secondly, because many institutions and organizations that know that the effects of climate change are already causing serious social and environmental problems around the world, hoped that this edition of the Conference would show a much more ambitious scenario for the future, what it means to build - at least from the rhetoric - agreements more drastic than the Paris agreement itself. And finally, because the final document does not include the IPCC report as the central support of the Katowice Agreement, which has a deep political implication. Yes, although it is difficult to digest, the minority is still able to overcome the needs of humanity.

In this sense, the COP25 hosted by Chile will be the cornerstone for global climate adaptation, not only because it is the last opportunity to establish the times and forms of what was signed in Paris, but because it is urgent to live up to it. the biggest challenge in our history. Issues related to mitigation, specifically to the market and carbon credits have been postponed to be resolved in this next edition. Latin America, the most biodiverse region on Earth, will once again receive the United Nations authorities in the lead-up to what may be the last decade of climate stability on the planet. It is urgent that our local, peasant, indigenous, social and citizen organizations take this fact as an opportunity to change the course of the COP towards a truly sustainable future and at the service of the next generations.

Juan Orgaz Espinoza/ Observatorio Educador Ambiental, partner of the YOuth Press Agency, and Domenico Vito/ Alliance IVS YOUNGO

22/12/2018, 12:16

COP, Katowice, Chile, climate change, Paris Agreement, Rulebook, National Determined Contributions, global warming, IPCC, UNFCCC


 COP24 has ended. A day later than originally planned. The extra time was needed to reach an agreement on the Rulebook of the Paris Agreements, but also testified a warning lack of real international cooperation when it comes to the climate crisis.

After two weeks of tiring negotiations, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) officially closed on December 16th on a note of enthusiasm that would have seemed unrealistic only a couple of days before. An enthusiasm that brought the deal to be welcomed by a standing ovation of the around 200 governments gathered in Katowice (Poland) and by a jump of COP President Michal Kurtyka down the plenary table. The reason for all this excitement was the adoption of the so-called "Rulebook" of the Paris agreement, which includes the technical guidance that will make it operational from 2020.

The Paris Agreement is based on the "Nationally Determined Contributions" (NDCs), i.e. the climate plans that every country has committed to implement from 2020 onwards. The objective is to peak global greenhouse gases emissions as soon as possible and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter so to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels while making efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. The Agreements creates an institutional framework that should support and monitor these efforts. The heart of it lies in the "Transparency Framework" which describes how, how often and how in detail States need to report on their mitigation, adaptation and climate finance commitments. The most controversial point during negotiations was how to possibly differentiate between developed and developing countries in their reporting efforts. A compromise was eventually found in having common criteria while allowing for flexibility for those countries that lack capacity.

As for climate finance, a topic which is typically controversial at COPs, the process for defining the new 2025 targets was also nailed down. The new targets should replace the current commitment to mobilise 100 billion dollars a year from 2020 to support developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts. The language agreed is nevertheless permissive and it does not provide clear indications on the type of financial resources that would qualify for the goal. More clarity was instead reached on the modalities for tracking progress on technological transfer. Finally, the COP specified the functioning of the Global Stocktake, the mechanism that should ramp up States’ ambition in climate action every 5 years.

It was impossible to reach an agreement on the voluntary market mechanisms foreseen by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and which should allow countries to sell their surplus in climate action (eg. mitigation efforts exceeding their domestic goal). Brazil held the talks in hostage on some technical issues -and this is why the conference closed with a delay of one day and a half- and it was therefore decided to leave this issue for COP25.

The objection by some countries (USA, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) in welcoming the importance of the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C was eventually weakened in the final decision. As a compromise solution , the text now welcomes the timely completion of the IPCC Special Report and invites all Parties to make use of it in the UNFCCC process. Yet, it looks like it is still difficult for some countries to accept the call made by the scientific community on the urgency of keeping temperature increase within 1.5°C so to limit particularly adverse climate change impacts on people and ecosystems. This is even more important in light of the results of a recent report by Global Carbon Project which shows that emissions increased again in 2017 and will probably increase by 2.7% in 2018.

It is probably too early to analyse in detail the implications of the complex technical guidelines agreed in Katowice. Defining the Rulebook was undoubtedly an important step ahead and a good technical result. Yet, the relief for having reached a deal after sleepless negotiation nights, comes with a sense of disappointment for the lack of urgency and ambition in the text. In Katowice, it was agreed what was actually possible. Yet, what is possible will not be enough for acting on the climate crisis. In the final speech to the Plenary, Amalen Sathananthar from "The Activist Network" and in representation of youth civil society organizations, was clear: "Nobody expected COP24 to save the world, but we expected more. And deserved more". On the same line, Carlos Rittl from the brazilian Observatory on the Climate said: "Paris defined the framework for limiting global warming and its adverse impacts. Katowice created the tools for making the Agreement operational. Yet it is only political will that can ramp up climate action".

The next COP25 will be hosted by Chile in 2019, while for COP26 the competing hosts are Italy and the United Kingdom. Italy’s candidature was officially presented by the Minister Sergio Costa in Katowice. The COP26 in 2020 will be of extraordinary importance as the Paris Agreement will take effect and the first revision of NDCs will be completed.

Elisa Calliari, Paulo Lima e Roberto Barbiero

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