Katowice Climate Summit (COP24) has ended with a bittersweet taste: while the great powers congratulate themselves for having reached an agreement, civil society reproaches their lack of ambition in the fight against climate change.
The 24th Summit of the Climate Change Parties (COP24) in the coal city of Katowice has concluded with a last minute agreement that manages to save the furniture through a text that avoids any real commitment. The articles contained in the final decision do not clearly establish the process necessary to increase the ambition to ensure compliance with the Paris Agreement.
Ecologists in Action has denounced that, despite the alarm signals, another year is lost to initiate an urgent decrease in emissions that will allow the global temperature increase to be maintained at 1.5ºC. This is the only way to protect Human Rights and fulfill the fundamental purpose of the United Nations.
Despite the attempts of the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Portuguese António Guterres, and the appointment of some ministers to lead different negotiation frameworks, the Katowice summit has not managed to solve a mismanagement of the Polish presidency that has led to block some decisions.
The final plenary of the summit has been delayed more than a day due to objections from countries like Brazil that did not agree with part of the articles. Likewise, the absence of political representatives in recent days has left them unable to reach ambitious agreements in the final plenary. The presidency has clearly recognized that this is a decision that does not satisfy anyone.
Ecologists in Action has stated that timid last minute advances on financing have been included in the final text, and the more technical aspects of the rule book have been closed. However, the lack of agreement on the increase in ambition and a text that reduces the language that is more forceful and binding for another oriented more to suggest to the countries make it very difficult to comply with the Paris Agreement.
The focus of the summit has once again revolved around the oil powers (Saudi Arabia or the US) that dare to question scientific reports beyond any doubt, while the states most vulnerable to climate change are once again ignored. For its part, the alleged leadership role of the European Union has concealed a clear division of countries between those that press to further reduce the insufficient commitments of the climate fight and those that ignore that the effects of climate change will place a large part of European ecosystems at risk of disappearance.
Javier Andaluz Prieto, head of Climate at Ecologistas en Acción, stated that “the IPCC report on 1.5 ºC is clear when it indicates that there are barely twelve years left to curb greenhouse gas emissions and points out to the Mediterranean region, including Spain, as one of the most vulnerable countries ”.
The IPCC report has been the subject of enormous debate within COP24 due to the efforts of the oil nations to eliminate any mention of their conclusions in the agreement. "The final formulation of the text simply encourages the countries to take into account the results of the report and eliminates from the previous text that made a numerical reference to the necessary reductions," Andaluz added.
The main mandate of the Paris Agreement that should have concluded in Katowice was a clear route for increased ambition in line with the scientific indications. To do this, the international community opened spaces for debate at previous summits, such as the Talanoa Dialogue, which have not served to find out how commitments should be adjusted to scientific reality. Thus, this review is postponed again to the next summit, while the limited amount of time available for action continues to advance.
The lack of mention of the loss and damage processes within the Paris Agreement, as well as the lack of clarity regarding how the provision of the Green Climate Fund will be completed, has left many countries, including Spain, in distress. "These territories will suffer enormous consequences due to the inability to reach sufficiently forceful tools to stop climate change", explained Andaluz.
Ecologists in Action joined last Friday the civil society demonstration that occupied the stairs of the COP24 demanding climate justice. For the environmental organization, the solidarity with the small islands with the most vulnerable countries and with the hundreds of activists who are persecuted, leaves no other possibility than to increase social protest and the promotion of alternatives as the only way to alleviate the incompetence of the international community .
Source: Ecologists in Action