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In view of the COP 24 UN Climate Conference in Katowice

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 27.11.2018, 14:27 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] “Climate change is a key challenge that must be addressed immediately”, Italian President Sergio Mattarella and 15 other heads of State and government asserted in a joint declaration for the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 24) in Katowice in Poland on December 3-14. "Climate change is a the key challenge of our time," the statement emphasized. "Our generation is the first to experience the rapid increase in

temperatures all over the world and probably the last that can effectively combat the imminent global climate crisis". At the Conference of the Parties (COP) in December 2015 in Paris, an international agreement was reached which is generally seen as a landmark in the global effort to react to climate change. The Paris Agreement represents a universal agreement with specific goals for combating climate change (mitigation), adapting to a changing climate (adaptation) and support to developing countries in both these areas. Loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change is a crucial concern of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) and of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Article 8 of the Paris Agreement states that Parties understand the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change. The fact that this topic is covered by a separate Article is a sign of the acknowledgement of its importance. The Agreement also improved the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage. The Agreement entered into force in November 2016, earlier than many had expected, but with a number of challenges to face . The United States, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, declared its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

The combined efforts communicated by other Parties are still far from reaching the ambitious temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, and gaps are emerging in areas such as support provided to developing countries or the aim to increase ambition before the year 2020. The objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is to achieve “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (UNFCCC 1992).

To this goal, the Convention emphasized the common but different responsibilities (CBDR) of the Parties, the principle of taking precautionary measures, and the importance of supporting economic development to proceed in a sustainable way. The Convention also included the question of research and of the systematic observation, of education, as well as the establishment of the UNFCCC secretariat, the Conference of the Parties and subsidiary bodies to assist the Conference of the Parties . The Convention was approved at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 1992. It was open for signature at the conference in Rio in June 1992 and it entered into force on 21 March 1994. This in a nutshell is what has been achieved till now.

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