The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) was chaired by Poland with the main objective of tackling the problem of climatic changes. It was a landmark agreement as it not only built in the zeal for international cooperation but also, was a platform where the protocols of the Paris Agreement were consulted for completing the rule book. Katowice city was chosen to test the 21st Conference of the Parties at COP24.

The appearance of flaws in the agenda when it was adopted by Paris created a striking division between those in who believe in the threatening effects climate change and those who reject it, claiming that it is only a nightmare. The two schools of thought can be seen in the administrative leadership of America where President Donald Trump has restricted the installation of new coal plants and Brazil where President Jair Bolsonaro has aimed to build more mines in the country and develop agriculture. Thus, the widening defects in the agreement are posing new challenges for the negotiators.

Coal is one of the major energy producing sources, which again poses a threat to climate. Moreover, Poland the host country is itself the largest coal cooking producers in Europe. With the acceptance of COP24 by Poland it is now moving towards the evolution of cleaner coal industry. From a survey done by the scientists working for Global Carbon Budget it was found that the main drivers of increases in 2018 was large amount of coal burning in India and China.

A report says that in between the three years after the Approval of Paris Agreement 478 billion dollars has been invested on world’s 120 top coal plants.

According to a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change if the increase in the global temperature is not restricted within 1.5 0C, all of the pain taken to implement the agenda in Paris will be of no worth. In 2018 the Global carbon emissions have increased to 2.7% compared with 2016 where they were 1.6%. Analysing individually, in India emissions are increased by 6.3%, in USA by 2.5% and in China up to 4.7%.

Scientists have given the countries twelve years to reduce the Global carbon emissions by 45% from the levels that were in 2005. To achieve this goal by 2030 we need capacity building, be fair in our mode of conduct, and must allocate climate finance in our budget.

Working on the important outcomes of the agreements made in the Rule Book gave a good head start despite the differences observed in the situation of developing and the developed countries. Major advances have been made in dealing with some of the most serious issues in the final negotiation however, these demand overtime. Furthermore, in COP25 it is likely to leave the problems on which no agreement can be reached.

In 2009 the scaling up of the Climate Finance Committee to 100 billion dollars per annum for the LMICs (Low and middle-income countries is not happening at a fast enough pace to meet up with their rising challenges. It has recently been reported by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development that in 2017 the climate finance rose to over 56 billion dollars, but the larger portion of this sum includes loans. This needs to reach a fair agreement as it is not fulfilling the expectations of LMICs.

To guide its work from the year 2021 to 2025, the World Bank has set some new climate targets. Under this commitment the World Bank will give 200 billion dollars, also it will double the climate financing for this period of time. Not only this but the bank is on its way to develop a new rating system which will keep a track of global progress and incentivise it. Along with this the bank has promised to increase its direct financing from 2021-2025 to 50 billion dollars.

Taking into consideration its own need for development and pondering on the outcome of global negotiations, Pakistan has to take advantage of the opportunities. For this there is a need to develop capacities to put the bankable projects in place for financing its NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) to fill up the climate finance gap at the national level.

The representation of Pakistan at COP24 though, was little due to which they were not able to attend all of the parallel sessions but the team under the leadership of Malik Amin Aslam was motivated, and played an energetic role. The lack of representation quantitatively was met with quality as the federal minister himself was there increasing the chances of speaking at events and present the stance of Pakistan by making convincing arguments.

From the perspective of the civil society it was reassuring to see the inclusion of Kashmala Kakakhel in the delegation where she used her knowledge about the climate finance to support the foreign office delegate in the meetings held on climate finance. Mr. Aslam made his statement which was that by the start of 2020 the countries are advised to submit the revised NDCs as it will be helpful to remember the main purpose of the meeting which was to heal nature rather than to win the negotiations.

Mr. Aslam also, highlighted the four vital areas needed to fully put in practice the Paris Agreement. These were:

Scale must be in accordance with the growing needs of the country,

Global finance goals after 2025 need to be a part of Katowice,

The transparency framework must assure the transparency of support which includes keeping a record of the expenditures, and lastly

Refilling of the Green Climate Fund must be prioritised with the ease of access involving less bureaucratic procedures.

To check the willingness of the international community to cope up with the problem of climatic change COP24 was the major test. The outcomes indicate that despite of the differences the eagerness of the countries to move forward and work to reduce the emissions is present among all. It is the commitment of the governments within and across countries which will be deciding the overall success of global cooperation on tackling with the climate change.

 

The writer is an environmentalist.