The 24th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted by Poland, kick-started on  December 03, 2018. Here is some of the key highlights from Day 1 of COP 24.

The Katowice outcome is crucial for the world moving forward with global response to climate change. It is critical for building up confidence in a globally coordinated effort which started with the Paris Agreement.

During the opening ceremony of #COP24, President of Poland, Andrzej Duda emphasized the importance of implementation of the #ParisAgreement. President also expressed his hope that the outcome of the summit will be #KatowiceRulebook. He shared that the conference was taking place at the same location where once a coal mine operated, symbolizing the shift away from hydrocarbons we all need to make.

UN Chief, António Guterres, reiterated that the main job during the Katowice conference is to finalize the #ParisAgreement Work Programme, that is, the rule book for implementation. He reminded all member countries that this is the deadline for all to observe to determine the final plan of action. Mr. Guterres stressed upon the need for complete transformation of the global energy economy for a sustainable future. Sir David Attenborough said, “If we don’t take climate action, the collapse of our civilization and extinction of the natural world is on the horizon.”

Among other highlights, the World Bank Group today announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action.

Day 1 also witnessed the launch of UNFCCC Gender Action Plan (GAP), focusing promotes on mainstreaming of gender into climate policy and action at all levels. Gender-responsiveness is critical for the effectiveness of any policy and action and it is critical that the needs, perspectives, experiences and knowledge of all people impacted by climate change are taken into account.

An important set of key recommendations were released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) at COP24 on behalf of nearly 200 global businesses. The opening statement of the policy recommendation document reads, “If we want to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, we have no choice: we must limit global warming to well-below 2°C, with 1.5°C as the new North Star. There’s no room for complacency. The science is clear: If we don’t act now, the world will surpass 3°C as early as 2100, with devastating consequences.”

Finally, one of the important side events organised by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, which articulated four clear expectations from COP24.

  1. Science must guide collective action on the basis of equity;
  2. Paris Agreement Rulebook must support building capacity for transparency and ex ante reporting on climate finance;
  3. Access to finance must become more just, equitable and differentiated; and
  4. Recognise actors, initiatives, and institutions that can strengthen collective action.