In a festival of clumsy acronyms and bewildering buzzwords, the UNFCCC’s (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) 24th COP (Conference of the Parties) has opened in the Polish coal city of Katowice.
Casual observers could be forgiven for thinking that the international climate change issue has been largely resolved, after the high profile and much celebrated finalisation of the Paris agreement in 2015, however much work remains to be done and COP24 represents an important milestone.
At the Paris COP, at the end of 2015, Parties agreed that a detailed set of rules and guidelines to govern the implementation of the Paris agreement would be agreed by the end of 2018. Finalising and agreeing this text is the most pressing order of business for the delegates from the 197 parties (countries) who have gathered in Katowice.
Parties will also look at how national commitments can be brought into line with the aspirations of the Paris Agreement – it has been estimated that current pledges to reduce emissions are still likely to lead to warming of about 3 degrees, whereas the agreement commits countries to deliver emissions reductions that will limited temperature rises to between 1.5 and 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
The thorny issue of who pays for all of this is also up for discussion, both for mitigation efforts and for what has come to be known as the ‘just transition’. The question being discussed is how does society make sure that a transition to a low carbon future is just and fair for the people and communities who will be affected by it?
It promises to be an interesting few weeks, and worldsteel will be present and actively participating in a number of side events, for example “The Clean Transition in Industry”, an event hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) at the Japan Pavilion on December 7th.
We welcome the opportunity to meet with members and any other stakeholders interested in talking to us about our sector. Please do not hesitate to get in touch via twitter @worldsteel_andy.