The importance of the scheduled people’s gathering on Climate Change is vital for the world generally and for more specifically for the MENA region. Excerpts of this article on the forthcoming ‘COP 24’ UN climate change conference is reproduced here below for their obvious meaning and then from whom better than Sir David Attenborough to receive an invitation from.  Please share and pass on.

IOM/Amanda Nero | A boy watches the shore from a boat near Sirajganj, a community affected by severe erosion that has left many displaced. Sirajganj, Bangladesh. October 2016

28 November 2018

The crunch ‘COP 24’ UN climate change conference: what’s at stake and what you need to know

Climate Change

As global temperatures continue to rise, climate action is lagging and the window of opportunity is closing. On Sunday, the United Nations will kick off critical negotiations on how to address the problem collectively and urgently, during a two-week climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, known as “COP 24”.

Thousands of world leaders, experts, activists, creative thinkers, and private sector and local community representatives will gather to work on a collective action plan to realize critical commitments made by all the countries of the world in Paris, three years ago.

UN News put together this guide to COP 24 to answer some of the biggest questions you may have and make sure you’re all caught up, with a ringside seat on the action.

1. The basics: UNFCCC, UNEP, WMO, IPCC, COP 24, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement… can someone please make sense of all this?

These acronyms and place names all represent international tools and terms that, under the leadership of the UN, were created to help advance climate action globally. They all play a specific and different role in focussing us all on achieving environmental sustainability. Here’s how it fits together:

In 1992, the UN organised a major event in Rio de Janeiro called the Earth Summit, in which the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted.

In this treaty, nations agreed to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere” to prevent dangerous interference from human activity on the climate system. Today, the treaty has 197 signatories. Every year since the treaty entered into force in 1994, a “conference of the parties” – a COP – is held to discuss how to move forward and, since there have been 23 COPs so far, this year’s will be the 24th, or “COP 24”.

Because the UNFCCC had non-binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and no enforcement mechanism, various “extensions” to this treaty were negotiated during these COPs, including: the famous Kyoto Protocol in 1997, which defined emission limits for developed nations to be achieved by 2012; and the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, in which all countries of the world agreed to step up efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures and boost climate action financing.

Two agencies support the scientific work of the UN on climate change: the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Together, they set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, which is made of hundreds of experts, dedicated to assessing data and providing reliable scientific evidence for the climate action negotiations, including the upcoming ones in Katowice.

 

8. How can you participate in the discussion and do your part for climate action?

You can join the Climate Action ActNow.bot which will recommend everyday actions to save the planet and tally up the number of actions taken to measure the impact that collective action can have.

By sharing your climate action efforts on social media, you can help encourage more people to act as well.

In addition, the People’s Seat initiative, launched by the UNFCCC Secretariat, ensures you can contribute directly to the conversation at COP 24. So make sure to #TakeYourSeat and speak up!

 

10. Why is the UN also planning a Climate Change Summit in 2019?

To build on the outcomes of COP 24, and to strengthen climate action and ambition at the highest possible levels, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is convening a Climate Change Summit next September. In advance of the 2020 deadline for countries to finalize their national climate plans, the Summit is designed to focus on practical initiatives to limit emissions and build resilience.

The Summit will focus on driving action in six areas: transition to renewable energy; funding of climate action and carbon pricing; reducing emissions from industry; using nature as a solution; sustainable cities and local action; and climate change resilience.

COP24|climate change