ANU experts comment on upcoming COP24

Thursday 29 November 2018
ANU climate change experts on UNFCCC COP24

The 24th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held in Katowice, Poland officially opening on 3 December 2018.

Ahead of this important gathering, where the "rules" for the Paris Agreement will be discussed, experts from The Australian National University (ANU) - including those attending COP24 - provide their commentary and analysis.

Professor Mark Howden, Director ANU Climate Change Institute

"The forthcoming COP is a critical one in setting the 'rulebook' for the Paris Agreement.

Australia is likely to be under some pressure from other nations to play a positive hand due to the Government's own reports showing continuing increases in our national GHG emissions and that projections of emissions to 2030 indicate reductions of 5 per cent against 2005 levels rather than the 26-28 per cent of the Paris Agreement.

Additionally, the UN Emissions Gap report out today states that Australia does not have the policies in place that they assess are needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets and that our per capita emissions in 2030 are thus likely to be the third worst in the G20 (behind only Saudi Arabia and Russia).

Australia has the capacity to contribute significantly to progress various aspects of discussions especially the transparency mechanisms, capacity-building and finance and to the 'Talanoa Dialogue' which is a step towards decisions to ratchet up emission-reduction targets."

Professor Howard Bamsey, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

"The most recent Emissions Gap Report from UN underlines the current commitments within the Paris Agreement are insufficient to meet the 2 degrees target let alone the 1.5 degrees aspiration.

But the Paris Agreement, the only framework for global action, is not yet operational. Agreeing on the rules to make it operational is the key objective for COP 24.

Only then will efforts to improve commitments - next year's key objective - have meaning.

Developing countries will help make Paris work only if they are sure the developed world will deliver on its commitment to mobilise $100 billion each year in climate finance by 2020.

So assured and predictable climate finance will be a central theme for COP24 and an essential element for success."

Dr Ian Fry, ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society

*Dr Fry is also the Ambassador for Climate Change and Environment for the Government of Tuvalu. Dr Fry will attend COP24.

"Pacific Small Island States met earlier this month and we have high expectations that the climate change meeting in Katowice will deliver a comprehensive rule book for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

It is critically important that the issue of loss and damage is properly represented in the Paris Agreement rule book.

We also hope that the Talanoa Dialogue will deliver a strong mandate for Parties to raise the ambition of their national determined contributions to set us on a path towards a 1.5 degree C target."

Dr Christian Downie, ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance

"Historically, Australia has been seen as a good international citizen, a country that stands by its international commitments and works with others to improve the international system, not undermine it.

But in recent years climate change has threatened this reputation.

At the United Nations climate negotiations in Poland next week, other nations will be wary of Australia's stance, especially following the leadership turmoil in Canberra.

Indeed, there is a significant risk that further missteps on climate change will undermine Australia's international standing."

Aaron Tang, PhD candidate ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society

*Aaron will be travelling to Katowice on Saturday, 1 December

"The Katowice conference will be crucial in fleshing out the nuts and bolts of the Paris Agreements' implementation. This is a gargantuan task.

Negotiators have two weeks to cut down 300 pages of extremely technical negotiating text into a single cohesive rulebook.

However, as important as Katowice will be, nothing can change the fact that executing actual emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement is voluntary.

Regardless of the outcomes of Katowice, the Paris Agreement is not likely to be sufficient to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius.

The policy discourse must now incorporate greenhouse gas removal instead of just reductions. Otherwise, a 2 degree future may be out of reach."

Melanie Pill, PhD candidate, ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society

*Melanie will be travelling to Katowice on Saturday, 1 December

"The climate change meeting in Katowice is one of the most important global negotiations following the Paris Agreement and must not fail.

Given the current political sensitivity around global climate change action and finance, the world has quite a task at hand.  

The Talanoa dialogue is a welcome tool to ensure things are moving forward rather than backwards.  

As a researcher on climate change in small island states, I have high hopes that loss and damage will find its way into the rule book, manifesting itself not just in Article 8 in the Paris Agreement."

 

Updated:  16 December 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Web Admin