From the 6th to the 17th of November, the World Climate Summit COP 23 took place in Bonn, Germany. Almost 30,000 delegates from the 195 signatories to the UN Framework Convention met in the former capital to negotiate the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. The presidency of this year’s conference was Fiji.
A focus of the summit was the introduction of the “Paris Rule Book” to be able to better check how the commitments of signatory states in the area of climate protection are adhered to, and thus create the possibility of comparing the contributions of the different states. Specifically, countries will need to use the rule book to quantify how much coal, oil and gas they use, based on a standard formula to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. At present countries use their own accounting methods to measure greenhouse gas emissions and standardisation is needed to quantify true savings. The rulebook will provide these standard formulas and will be adopted at the upcoming World Climate Summit 2018 in Kattowice.
To date there remains a consensus among all states regarding greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the states agree that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to 0 by 2050 so that global warming can be reduced to well below 2 degrees as planned. States also agree that the current climate plans of all countries are not enough and that more efforts are needed.
In order to help poorer countries to cope with the consequences of climate change, COP 23 decided to incorporate the adjustment fund set out in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol into the Paris Climate Agreement. This fund is particularly important for developing countries, as they have a much harder time than the developed world tackling the consequences of climate change financially.
Although the Paris Climate Agreement will not be in place until 2020, industrialized countries are already working toward these goals of the Paris accord, and the next two climate conferences in 2018 and 2019 are intended to show how far they have come in carrying out climate protection activities and financial promises. The focus here is on the promise to increase climate aid by 2020 to USD$100 billion a year.
All in all, there were some small advances in the Climate Change Conference, and a rulebook linked to the Paris Climate Agreement has created a foundation to be adopted next year.