Nations yesterday struck a deal to breathe life into the landmark 2015 Paris climate treaty after marathon UN talks that failed to match the ambition for change to the most vulnerable countries’ need to avert dangerous global warming.
Delegates from nearly 200 states finalized a common rule book designed to deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2°C.
“Putting together the Paris agreement work program is a big responsibility,” UN Framework Convention on Climate Change president Michal Kurtyka said as he gaveled through the deal after talks in Poland that ran deep into overtime. “It has been a long road. We did our best to leave no one behind.”
However, states already dealing with devastating floods, droughts and extreme weather made worse by climate change said the package agreed in the Polish mining city of Katowice lacked the ambition to cut emissions as the world needed.
Egyptian ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, chair of the developing nations G77 plus China negotiating bloc, said the rule book saw the “urgent adaptation needs of developing countries relegated to a second-class status.”
“We continue to witness an irresponsible divide between the vulnerable island states and impoverished countries pitted against those who would block climate action or who are immorally failing to act fast enough,” Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan said.
The final text was repeatedly delayed as negotiators sought guidelines that could ward off the worst threats posed by the heating planet while protecting the economies of rich and poor nations alike.
“Without a clear rule book, we won’t see how countries are tracking, whether they are actually doing what they say they are doing,” Canadian Minister of the Environment Catherine McKenna told reporters.
Developing nations had wanted more clarity from richer ones over how the climate fight would be funded and pushed for so-called “loss and damage” measures.
This would see richer countries giving money now to help deal with the effects of climate change many vulnerable states are already experiencing.
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer