195 Countries Adopt Paris Rulebook to Strengthen Global Response to Climate Change

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), December 17, 2018 | Go to article overview

195 Countries Adopt Paris Rulebook to Strengthen Global Response to Climate Change


India, Dec. 16 -- As many as 195 countries evolved and adopted a set of guidelines - the Paris Rulebook - for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to climate change late on Saturday evening in Poland's Katowice.

The rulebook was adopted after two weeks of negotiations to resolve major differences between developed, developing and a coalition of least developed countries at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

In Katowice, the environment ministry's joint secretary, Ravi Shankar Prasad, made a statement on India's behalf on Saturday expressing reservations regarding certain parts of the rulebook. He cited the lack of equity in the global stocktake process, a five-yearly review of the implementation of the Paris Agreement .

Equity would mean that the developed countries take the lead while developing and least developed countries also take action to combat climate change in accordance with their capacities.

Later, the ministry issued a statement on Sunday saying India welcomed the rulebook as its concerns have been addressed in the final version. "India considers the outcome of COP 24 a positive one which addresses concerns of all parties and sets us on the path towards successful implementation of the Paris Agreement."

Civil society groups and the least developed countries have expressed their concerns about how effective the rulebook or the Katowice Climate Package.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based advocacy organisation, said the countries are pretty much on their own to mitigate, adapt and pay for climate impacts.

"The UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change] is now a platform to collect and synthesise information and provide a forum to discuss and debate. It does not have the tools to drive global collective action to combat climate change. In such a situation, one needs to seriously question the raison d'etre of the UNFCCC," said CSE deputy director general Chandra Bhushan.

According to the CSE, the developed countries have the choice to include all kinds of financial instruments as climate finance including loans. It said the reporting of financial grants by developed countries and review of whether it is adequate has also been weakened.

In the global stocktake section to measure global progress and identify how countries are adapting to or mitigating climate change, there is now no provision on addressing these issues, the CSE?added.

"The result is that a lot of technical information will be collected without any clear recommendation to increase ambition on mitigation or finance," the CSE said in a statement.

The negotiations were extended for a day after the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) expressed concerns over the draft rulebook. …

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