190 countries aim to broker pact on climate rules

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Bangkok, Sep 4 (IANS) Negotiators from nearly 190 countries, including India, gathered here on Tuesday for the six-day resumed sessions of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement amid strong calls for progress.

At the resumed session, the countries will focus on developing the implementation guidelines of the Paris agreement.

The guidelines in a ‘rulebook’ are needed to provide guidance on how to implement the agreement and to see transparently how countries are progressing in their actions.

The opening of the session saw a brief addresses by Prime Minister of Fiji Bainimarama, who is currently presiding over the climate change negotiations, as well as the Polish in-coming COP President Michal Kurtyka, who will preside over the negotiations at this year’s climate change conference or COP24 to be held in Katowice in Poland in December.

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Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand Surasak Karnjanarat and Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Patricia Espinosa also addressed the opening.

All speakers strongly urged negotiators to step up the pace of their work and to move towards negotiating texts that capture clear options on the implementation guidelines that can swiftly be finalized and adopted in Katowice.

This is crucial given the deadline that countries set for themselves to complete this work at COP24 this year.

Executive Secretary Espinosa said COP24 was now right around the corner.

“We are working against the clock. We must now complete the heavy lifting and we must do it rapidly. UN Climate Change stands ready to assist countries,” she said.

Current COP President Bainimarama impressed upon delegates that the six-day Bangkok talks were urgent.

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“In these few days, we have the opportunity to put the Paris Agreement on a path from words to action,” he said.

The implementation guidelines will unlock practical actions and bring the agreement’s institutions to life.

This is vital for all aspects of climate action, including enabling ambitious global and national adaptation action and emission reductions, developing fair transparency and compliance arrangements and mobilizing means of implementation, especially with respect to finance, to support developing country action.

In-coming COP President Kurtyka said non-state actors were steaming ahead and that governments had to keep up with that pace by putting in place the implementation guidelines.

He urged delegates to craft clear texts in Bangkok that they could work with at COP24.

“Clarity and a streamlined text is my request,” he said.

Global investors are closely watching and formulating their expectations for this round of negotiations.

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Aviva Investors Chief Responsible Investment Officer Steve Waygood said: “After a summer of extreme weather events across the globe, the risk that unchecked climate change poses has never been clearer.

“It’s time for country delegates at UN climate talks this week to agree on ambitious and robust rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. As a global insurer and investor, we rely on a transparent and consistent regime to deliver the essential global transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, said: “The Paris Agreement is critical to driving trillion-dollar investment into the global low carbon economy.

“An ambitious and transparent implementation rulebook, holding countries to account for delivering and scaling-up their commitments on climate change, will lock in policy certainty and underpin investor confidence.”

–IANS

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