#COP24 Climate Change Summit: Penalized for mistakes we never made, says Nepal

The #COP24 Climate Conference 2018 began in Katowice (Poland) on Dec 02 and will continue till Dec 14, 2018
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#COP24 Climate Change Summit: Penalized for mistakes we never made, says Nepal

“We feel as if we have been penalized for the mistakes we never made…. It is incumbent upon the international community to ensure that justice is done,” said Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari, speaking at the ongoing #COP24 Climate Change Conference 2018.

The 24th Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP24) is taking place in Katowice, Poland during December 2-14, 2018. 

The key objective of this conference is to adopt the implementation guidelines of the Paris Climate Change Agreement,which aims to hold the global average temperature close to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Moreover, the full implementation of the Paris Agreement indicates that member countries carry out actions based on the climate regime including:

  • Adaption to #climatechange impacts
  • Ambitious emission reductions
  • Supporting developing countries by strengthening their means of implementation through technology cooperation, capacity building and mainly financial support

Additionally, the event will also witness the political-phase of the Fiji-led Talanoa Dialogue which aims at progress towards the temperature goals mentioned in the Paris Agreement.

See: #COP24 Agenda

#COP24 Summit: Event Highlights

COP 24 Event Highlights

     1. Challenge to World Nations

Considering the #UNFCC COP24 Summit timelines, it’s just two-weeks-time left for nearly 200 world nations to finalize and present their approach for the implementation of their set goals.

At this juncture, the most concerning point for climate change vulnerable nations is the ‘financing part’, which runs in billions dollars.

While the Paris Accord mandates developed nations to pledge their financial support to the vulnerable developing countries, denial of the mandate by world power US is creating a matter of distrust among the vulnerable nations.

    2. Key Sessions At a Glance

The UNFCC COP 24 Summit includes a wide range of sessions that seek ways to address climate change concerns of the world nations. The 13-day event (December 02-14) will see various events of all levels involving delegates, heads of the states, ministries, among others from around 200 world nations.

      High-level Mandated Events include:

  • Global Climate Action

This event on December 04, 2018 will dwell on:

    • Strengthening high-level engagement on the implementation of policy options and actions;
    • Give an opportunity for announcing new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions;
    • Take a stock of related progress;
    • Recognize new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions; and
    • Provide opportunities for effective high-level engagement of dignitaries of Parties, international organizations, international cooperative initiatives and non-Party stakeholders
  • Stocktake on Pre-2020 Implementation and Ambition

This event, to be attended by the Ministers and Heads of Delegation on December 10, 2018, aims to:

    • Facilitate the continued consideration by Parties of efforts in relation to climate implementation and ambition in the pre-2020 period;
    • Provide a space for a holistic reflection by Ministers and other high-level representatives of challenges in and opportunities for enhancing pre-2020 implementation and ambition;
    • Consider, inter alia, the inputs of the COP, the CMP, the SBI, the SBSTA, the constituted bodies under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, and the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism;
    • Take a stock of mitigation efforts of Parties in the pre-2020 period;
    • Understand the provision of support in pre-2020 period and the work of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action; and
    • Take summaries for policymakers of the technical examination processes and the yearbooks on climate action prepared by the high-level champions
  • 3rd Biennial Ministerial High-Level Dialogue

This session on December 10, 2018 seeks a High-level Dialogue on Climate Finance -Translating climate finance needs into action and takes following steps towards that end:

    • Provide a clear vision on how to ensure further progress on the mobilization of climate finance;
    • Focus on concrete efforts and initiatives on mobilizing finance and investments to translate climate finance needs into action and on enhancing developing countries’ access to climate finance;
    • Know the initiatives that have successfully mobilized climate finance and enhanced cooperation on this issue;
    • Pay particular attention to the issue of enhancing access to climate finance
    • High-level multi-stakeholder panel discussions will take place in two distinct sessions;
    • Open discussion in plenary with Ministers of various States presenting their views on various topics to be addressed; and
    • The Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) will present the findings of the 2018 biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows 
  • Political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue

This session will be conducted after the wrapping-up of the preparatory phase, and includes:

    • Opening of the dialogue and ministerial roundtables on December 11, 2018
    • Closing meeting will take place on Wednesday December 12, 2018
    • Taking stock of the collective efforts of Parties in relation to progress towards the long-term goal referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1, of the Paris Agreement
    • Informing the preparation of nationally-determined contributions pursuant to Article 4, paragraph 8, of the Agreement
    • Ministerial roundtables to address specifically the question of “how do we get there” with a view to commonly discussing the action required to meet the long-temperature goals

Other mandated sessions part of the Katowice Climate Change Conference

    • 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC
    • 14th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP)
    • 3rd Third part of the first session of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1-3)
    • 49th Sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)
    • 7th part of the 1st session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-7)
    • 6th Facilitative Sharing of Views (FSV) under the International Consultation And Analysis (ICA) process
    • Multilateral assessment working group session under the international assessment and review process
    • Review of the work of the improved forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures
    • A workshop on the Koronivia Joint Work on agriculture
    • The Nairobi work programme (NWP) Focal Point Forum on the theme of ‘Economic Diversification’

Besides the aforementioned, various other action events pertaining to Sustainable Development Goals COP24 (SDGs-COP24) on human settlements, transport, water, industry, oceans and coastal zones, energy and land use will also be part of the Summit, with round-table meetings on

    • Finance and climate action;
    • SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and climate;
    • SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and climate;
    • Resilience and climate action;
    • Land use, water and energy;
    • Oceans and coastal zones and transport; and
    • SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and climate

3. COP24 Opening Session

Un Secretary General

United Nations cautioned the world nations about the ‘growing climate concern’ on the side-lines of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP24 Summit that kicked off in Katowice (Poland) on December 02, 2018.

Addressing the delegates from different nations at the opening session of the COP24 Summit on December 03, 2018, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “We are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough.”

The opening session of COP24 saw delegates from high climate risk-prone countries such as Nepal, Fiji and Nigeria presenting their concerns at the COP24 Climate Talks, which aims to address climate change problems in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

Considering this aspect, the UN Secy-General also called on developed nations to increase their contribution to the change. “Collective responsibility to assist the most vulnerable communities and countries- such as small island nations and the least developed countries – by supporting adaptation and resilience,” Guterres told developed nations.

On its part, the World Bank already announced USD 200 billion in climate investment for the 2021-25 period on the opening session.

As part of the opening session, Poland announced its declaration calling on the states to ‘recognize the challenges faced by sectors, cities and regions in transition from fossil fuels… and the importance to ensure a decent future for workers impacted by the transition’.

See: What World Leaders Said at COP24?

Nepal At COP 24

Bidhya Devi Bhandari Nepal President in COP24

Environmentalists and discussion negotiators pitching for safe environment made their recommendations to Nepal Government ahead of the country’s participation at the Katowice Climate Change Conference 2018.

As part of its preparations to the conference, the government conducted a consultation program seeking experts’ recommendations for the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on December 2-14, 2018.

In the meeting, experts urged the government to make efforts to draw financial and technological support from the global community in its fight against climate change.

“As one of the most climate change vulnerable countries in the world, we should put in extra efforts for receiving financial and technical support,” said Siddhartha Bajra Bajracharya, Executive Director of the National Trust for Nature Conservation.

Bajracharya urged the Nepali delegation to raise the issue of melting Himalayas due to climate change at the COP24 meeting. 

Meanwhile, Senior Meteorologist with Department of Hydrology and Meteorology Archana Shrestha urged the delegation to maintain strong evidences while presenting at the conference.

“For our climate change negotiations, there should be strong backing of science. Our discussion at the conference should be based on scientific assessments,” adds Shrestha.

“Negotiations have slowed down after the Paris conference affecting only poor and climate change-hit countries like Nepal as it has blocked their access to climate finance support,” says Madhav B Karki, Natural Resource Management and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist and a board member of the Centre for Green Economy Development, Nepal.

Kari urged the President Bhandari to present the country’s efforts and transition towards clean energy or electric mobility.

“We are facing a challenge accessing climate finance and then taking it to our people at the grassroots level who are highly vulnerable to changing climate,” said Dhakal. “If we don’t receive climate finance for capacity building and strengthening our infrastructure, it could have drastic impacts on our infrastructure and vulnerable communities,” said Maheshwar Dhakal, chief of Climate Change Management Division under the Ministry of Forest and Environment.

Dhakal informed that the government has formulated a three-pronged strategy- Building climate resilience, Shifting towards low-carbon economy and Strengthening climate diplomacy, as a means to deal with climate change.

In his views on the matter, Manjeet Dhakal, Advisor to Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group said countries like Nepal can gain financial and technical support from the international community by being associated with LDC and G77 members such as India, Saudi Arabia and most of the Latin American countries.

Presenting all the climate change challenges, Nepal is coming up with a Status Paper for COP24 with a list of all possible climate change impacts to the mountainous nation, its challenges, policies & programmes implemented in the process.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari is leading the Nepali delegation to the Poland Conference.

December 4, 2018 |

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