A strong call for ambition as world leaders arrive in Katowice for COP24

3 December 2018, Katowice: World leaders at the UN climate talks in Katowice have made statements calling for stronger ambition but it's now time for countries to keep their word by commiting to updated Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020. Countries are feeling the pressure following the IPCC 1.5C Report and public demand for action has never been higher.

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada, said this “COP24 has to wake up slow-moving governments”. 2018 has seen the small but continued rise of a very powerful group of politicians who undercover of populist rhetoric are working to defend our status quo lethal addiction to fossil fuels”. She said transformative work is required for a smoother transition to a green economy “The technical work is meant to underline much larger social transformation that happens on the ground in countries and we see that that has to go hand in hand with economic transformation and the creation of a stronger social safety net, so that we’re both moving forward with protecting the planet, but also making sure that people have access to decent work or are able to provide for themselves and their families. They must be protected from the kind of volatility that we’re seeing in the natural world and also across socio-economic spaces”.

However, Abreu remained positive about the COP’s potential as she stated “The Paris Agreement is one of the best examples that the world has of global cooperation on an issue of universal significance”  The CVF Virtual Summit and G20 outcome on climate, with 19 countries standing by the Paris Agreement, are evidence that climate multilateralism is gaining ground.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid, described the fundamental importance of developing the Paris Rulebook and establishing reliable financial flows for vulnerable countries. A strong Rulebook “allows us to hold countries accountable to their actions”. Further, he emphasized, that without delivery of $100 billion by 2020 we will lack the confidence to successfully implement the Paris Agreement. Adow underlined his concerns surrounding climate finance as he stated, “Rich countries of the world haven’t actually honored their commitments to deliver the kind of support that will allow developing countries to be able to meet and exceed their Paris pledges and this is critical”.

On the topic of a coal company sponsoring COP24, Mohamed Adow said “A coal company sponsoring this COP is actually equal to having arms dealers at a peace summit. The idea that the Polish Presidency can have the very companies that cause climate destruction sponsoring the talks is just a slap in the face of the poor vulnerable countries who are suffering the impacts of climate change, and it is a very unpresidential thing to do.”

Fernanda Carvalho, WWF International, expressed the need for near term pre-2020 action. She said, “We want countries at this COP to express politically their will to enhance NDCs”. Furthermore, Carvalho recognized the UNSG Summit in 2019 as a platform for nations to amplify their ambition. With regards to the need for greater political communication she said “The Talanoa dialogue is a process that should create the conditions and the trust to enhance ambition, we want a political outcome that is preferably captured in a COP decision”.

About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org