Elliot Diringer on the conclusion of COP 24

Statement of Elliot Diringer

Executive Vice President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

December 15, 2018

On the conclusion of COP 24, the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland:

“The message from Katowice is that governments are committed to making the Paris Agreement work. Between the usual conflicts and new geopolitical strains, these talks could have foundered over any number of issues. The rulebook didn’t come easily, and it’s not perfect, but it gets the Paris Agreement off the ground.

“Many hoped for stronger signals from countries about ramping up their ambition in 2020. Clearly, building the necessary political will remains our core challenge. But a functioning agreement will do more to raise ambition over the long haul than any momentary political signals. And Katowice was our best shot at getting the rules right.

“Most important, the new transparency rules will make it easier to hold all countries accountable for their promises. This takes us well beyond the bifurcated system we’ve had until now. If the transparency system shows that everyone is in fact making a sincere effort to do their part, we’ll all be in a better position to do more.

“Unfortunately, parties couldn’t agree on detailed rules for using market-based trading to meet country targets – which is critical for mobilizing private sector investment. It’s urgent that this last remaining piece of the rulebook be completed next year.

“It was clear from the start that Paris alone couldn’t possibly get the job done. The real work is at home, where we have to do a much better job demonstrating not just the risks, but also the opportunities presented by climate change. We need an inclusive approach – one that taps all available technologies and deals justly with those who stand to lose the most. The challenges and choices vary from country to country. But the only lasting solutions will be those built on common ground.”

To reach a C2ES expert, contact Alec Gerlach at press@c2es.org.

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.