From Fiji COP 23 to Katowice COP 24

Described by some as a “transition COP,” the UN Climate Change Conference took place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November 2017, under the presidency of Fiji. It was expected to make progress on developing modalities, procedures and guidelines for operationalization of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which are to be finalized in 2018.

While the Paris Agreement only provides the main features of the new international climate governance and countries have been negotiating its working arrangements since 2016 at the COP 22 that took place in Marrakesh. Countries have agreed to finalise the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement by 2018 at COP 24 and important steps in that direction were made at COP 23 in Bonn.

In the cycle of post-Paris negotiations, COP 23 was geared less toward producing major outcomes than to¬ward setting the stage for COP 24 next year, when parties are scheduled not only to adopt the Paris rulebook, but also to conduct a major stocktake of global progress through a facilitative dialogue in 2018.

On one hand, the facilitative dialogue, rechristened as the Talanoa dialogue, reflecting the pacific islands’ tradition of story sharing is aimed at building empathy and trust leading to decisions for the collective good. Emphasizing that the dialogue should be constructive, non-confrontational, and solutions-oriented, Fiji out¬lined a year-long process including a preparatory phase, during which parties and stakeholders can provide input through an online platform, and a political phase at COP 24, where Ministers will engage in high-level roundtables. As a final output, Fiji and Poland, as Presidents of COP 23 and COP 24, will produce a summary of key messages. Polish COP success will also depend on the presidency ensuring that a strong Talanoa Dialogue is successfully run in partnership with Fiji. That partnership should focus on how to enhance the climate ambition.

On the other hand, the Paris Agreement implementation guidelines to be adopted in 2018 are of the utmost importance for the future of the global climate regime. First and foremost, given the urgency of climate action, the system must be up and running in 2020. Delaying the adoption of the guidelines would jeopardise the operationalisation of the Paris Agreement and weaken its political status. This is not an option.

Climate action, however, cannot just be limited to reducing emissions. Other aspects such as adaptation, provision of finance to the most vulnerable countries, transfer of technologies and capacity building, investment to create quality employment, decent work and just transition are crucial aspects of climate action.

In this regard, TERI proposes to organize a to discuss the expectations and challenges while moving towards COP24.