Nations agree on rules for Paris climate treaty


Mon, Dec 17, 2018 - Page 1

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.