President Muhammadu Buhari will be joining over 80 Heads of State to attend the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The conference will be held in Katowice, Poland from December 2 to 14, 2018. The conference is organised by the Bonn-based UNFCCC/UN Climate Change) and is presided over by Poland.
The key objective of the meeting is to adopt the implementation guidelines of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Climate experts say the meeting is crucial because it ensures the true potential of the Paris Agreement can be unleashed, including ramping up climate action so that the central goal of the agreement can be achieved, namely to hold the global average temperature to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In May 9, 1992, countries adopted the UNFCCC as a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable.
By 1995, countries launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which legally binds developed country Parties to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020.
There are now 197 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The 2015 Paris Agreement, adopted in Paris on December 12, 2015, marks the latest step in the evolution of the UN climate change regime and builds on the work undertaken under the Convention. The Paris Agreement charts a new course in the global effort to combat climate change.
In a related development, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that it will be present at COP24, albeit with a broad programme of its own events as well as taking part in the official activities of the meeting.
Co-Chairs of the three IPCC Working Groups will present the findings of the new IPCC report at a special event held with the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) entitled “Unpacking the new scientific knowledge and key findings in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC”, on Tuesday, December 4.
The report, says the IPCC, is the key scientific input into COP24, when Parties to the UNFCCC will review the goals and progress of the Paris Agreement in a process called the Talanoa Dialogue. Parties invited the IPCC to prepare the report at COP21 in 2015 when they adopted the Paris Agreement.
The Co-Chairs of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories will hold a side event on the “2019 Refinement to the 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories”, due to be released in May 2019, on Friday, December 7. The IPCC will also hold a side event on climate science and policy, together with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme, on Wednesday, December 5.
For the first time, the IPCC will have a pavilion (H3) at the climate conference, where it will present around 30 events showcasing the report on 1.5ºC, the Sixth Assessment Report work programme, and other IPCC activities. The pavilion is shared with the WMO.