Climate change rulebook ‘breakthrough’

A ‘robust set of guidelines’ for implementing the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement have been agreed on after extended sessions at COP24 in Poland.

Minister of Climate Change James Shaw says that the agreement on a rulebook is ‘a breakthrough’, while National spokesperson Todd Muller describes it as a “solid step forward”.

However agreement could not be reached on how to operationalize market mechanisms. Countries will try to finalise agreement on this at COP25 next year.

United Nations: New Era of Global Climate Action To Begin Under Paris Climate Change Agreement

Governments have adopted a robust set of guidelines for implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The implementation of the agreement will benefit people from all walks of life, especially the most vulnerable.

The agreed ‘Katowice Climate Package’ is designed to operationalize the climate change regime contained in the Paris Agreement. Under the auspices of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, it will promote international cooperation and encourage greater ambition.

The guidelines will promote trust among nations that all countries are playing their part in addressing the challenge of climate change.

The President of COP24, Mr. Michal Kurtyka of Poland, said: “All nations have worked tirelessly. All nations showed their commitment. All nations can leave Katowice with a sense of pride, knowing that their efforts have paid off. The guidelines contained in the Katowice Climate Package provide the basis for implementing the agreement as of 2020”.

The Katowice package includes guidelines that will operationalize the transparency framework.

It sets out how countries will provide information about their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that describe their domestic climate actions. This information includes mitigation and adaptation measures as well as details of financial support for climate action in developing countries.

The package also includes guidelines that relate to:

  • The process for establishing new targets on finance from 2025 onwards to follow-on from the current target of mobilizing USD 100 billion per year from 2020 to support developing countries
  • How to conduct the Global Stocktake of the effectiveness of climate action in 2023
  • How to assess progress on the development and transfer of technology

The UN’s Climate Chief, Ms. Patricia Espinosa said: “This is an excellent achievement! The multilateral system has delivered a solid result. This is a roadmap for the international community to decisively address climate change”.

These global rules are important to ensure that each tonne of emissions released into the atmosphere is accounted for.

In this way, progress towards the emission limitation goals of the Paris Agreement can be accurately measured.

“From the beginning of the COP, it very quickly became clear that this was one area that still required much work and that the details to operationalize this part of the Paris Agreement had not yet been sufficiently explored”, explained Ms. Espinosa.

“After many rich exchanges and constructive discussions, the greatest majority of countries were willing to agree and include the guidelines to operationalize the market mechanisms in the overall package”, she said.

“Unfortunately, in the end, the differences could not be overcome”.

Because of this, countries have agreed to finalise the details for market mechanisms in the coming year in view of adopting them at the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP25).

Euronews: What is the COP24 climate change rulebook and why do we need it?

The landmark 2015 deal aims to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius.

The talks hit several stumbling blocks and went into overtime on Saturday.

“It is not easy to find agreement on a deal so specific and technical”, chairman of the talks, Michal Kurtyka, said.

A consensus was finally reached when ministers managed to break a deadlock between Brazil and other countries over the accounting rules for the monitoring of carbon credits, deferring much of the discussion to next year.

So it is a work in progress.

Some countries and environmental groups say the COP24 rulebook does not provide a sufficient response to the impacts of climate change.

“COP24 failed to deliver a clear commitment to strengthen all countries’ climate pledges by 2020,” Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said in a statement.

“Governments have again delayed adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown. The EU needs to push ahead and lead by example, by providing more support to poor countries and increasing its climate pledge before the UN Secretary-General Summit in September 2019,” the group’s director, Wendel Trio, said.

NZ Herald: Green Party co-leader James Shaw says new climate change rulebook is a ‘breakthrough’

Climate Change Minister James Shaw, who was co-facilitating some of the talks, told reporters this morning that the newly agreed rulebook was “a breakthrough.”

Shaw said the rulebook would help “galvanise action” as it puts every country in the Paris agreement on the same playing field.

“The Paris agreement said what we wanted to do, it didn’t say a great deal about how we wanted to do it.”

The new rules do this and would mean the momentum towards action on climate change should be increased, he said.

The 2015 Paris accord put a 2020 deadline on all countries to increase the commitment they are making towards lowering net emissions.

“I think this [the rulebook] is quite a big breakthrough in terms of ensuring we get the momentum towards that.”

Shaw said one of the single greatest parts of the rulebook was the rules around transparency.

Now, countries would be accountable for doing what they said they would do in terms of policies put in place to cut emissions.

“If you have a robust transparency regime it means the Paris rulebook has a very solid central spine to it,” Shaw said.

Muller, who also attended the conference,  said it was a “solid step forward”.

Muller said the gains around transparency were very important.

“New Zealanders are keen to see that we do our proportional effort… but it’s important we see other countries put their shoulder to the wheel too in terms of genuine change.”

One of the major sticking points in the talks was agreeing on how developed countries would help developing countries meet the goal.

He said it was “challenging” to hammer out rulebook with some many different countries at the table.

“Given how long we have overrun and how difficult it got, the fact that [the rulebook] is as good as it is, is a very pleasant surprise.”

Donald Trump had pulled the US out of the Paris agreement so the US didn’t sign up.

“I know the US has a problematic relationship with the Paris agreement, but pretty much everyone else in the world is just getting on with it,” Shaw told reporters when asked about the US’ absence.

The US is a major emitter so this is a notable absence.

Russel Norman is not happy with the COP24 outcome.

Greenpeace NZ Executive Director, and former Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said although the rulebook was agreed, there was no clear collective commitment to enhance climate action targets.

He is called on the Government to bring agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme – something the Government is in the process of considering.

The rulebook is a step, but each country needs to take tangible action, including New Zealand. Agricultural emissions are a contentious issue here.




  1. David

     /  17th December 2018

    It looks a little like kicking the can down the road again and typically with a “breakthrough” press release, its groundhog day.
    At the end of the day politicians arnt going to kill their electoral chances with crazy wasteful policies that may change the temperature by a couple of basis points that no one will notice.
    Politicians use the Paris Agreement like all the other agreements over the last decade or two to show them looking like they care without actually having to do something.
    Macron tried to start implementing the Paris agreement, he lives there after all, and the locals set fire to the place and he backed down immediately…its just not important beyond virtue signalling to politicians.

  2. Ray

     /  17th December 2018

    Anybody like to take a small wager?
    That this talkfest will make absolutely no difference to carbon dioxide, rather thanks to the hot air lift it.
    And the 10 years till to late to do anything will be just another fail, where is the ice free arctic promised ten years ago?

  3. Gezza

     /  17th December 2018

    The US is a major emitter so this is a notable absence.
    Mainly methane, from the White House, these days.

    The commentary on Al jazeera – which runs docos on the impacts of Climate Change was largely along the lines that this seemed to be largely a back-patting exercise; that the mountains had laboured mightily& brought forth a mouse. That it took so long to produce an agreement one wonders how long it will take to actually do anything about the problem.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  17th December 2018

    They will now add accounting fraud to political fraud and scientific fraud. Nothing changes.

    • robertguyton

       /  17th December 2018

      The climate is changing.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  17th December 2018

        Really? How can you tell?

        • robertguyton

           /  17th December 2018

          I take note of what scientists are saying, especially those at the council. The frost record for Southland over the past 40 years is a powerful indication of a changing climate. Are you believing, Alan, that the climate is static?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  17th December 2018

            No, I don’t believe the climate is static but I was interested to hear if you had any first hand observations and it seems not.

            Since I’ve moved north over my life I can’t detect any changes in the periods I’ve spent in the same places.

        • Zedd

           /  17th December 2018

          try looking out the window.. Alan

          the first 5 years I was in Sth.. I had snow in my yard in winter, the last 5 I have not seen ANY, except up on the hills :/

          • Gezza

             /  17th December 2018

            Yes. Winters have got progressively warmer over my lifetime in Welly and New Plymouth. Haven’t seen ice on puddles in Winter in decades; common in my boyhood. But how do we know this is not some cycles – a feature of normal climate oscillations over hundreds of years?

            • robertguyton

               /  17th December 2018

              How do we know? Because those who study the subject say it’s not that way. They take a wider, more systematic view that we do, compiling and comparing data. applying rigor in a way we non-scientists don’t and then tell us what they’ve found.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  17th December 2018

              Climate cycles tend to be longer and noisier than the accurate data records available can analyse. Estimates of uncertainty are notoriously too low.

            • Gezza

               /  17th December 2018

              My feeling, robert, is that AGW IS happening. But detailed, reliable, written records of every climate and weather factor, & every place, which are now being monitored are just not available. Much of the past data has to be inferred and assumed to be global and local so there are many guesses and estimates. And the sophisticated climate models while getting better at replicating what weather we had – i.e. working backwards – have produced many false predictions.

              Sea level rise predictions have been spectacular failures. The incremental changes seen everywhere are tiny and while trends are evident in some, such as slow but steady temperature rises in air and sea, they still oscillate.

              Desertification has occurred through climate cycles and poor land use within recorded history.

              Using big weather events as an indicator of AGW is still within the statistical range of “noise” & reporting on these – with the advent of ubiquitous cameras, including cellphones, and satellite or ISS imagery – could be creating an impression that things are worse just because we see the floods, or the hurricanes & typhoons as they devastate areas.

              Sea level rise on coral atoll & marine volcanic remnant countries can be put down to natural weathering & sinking factors that are ongoing all the time anyway. And when studied, some of these islands have been losing land in one place and gaining it in others, something which has been known for decades.

              So … I think AGW is happening, but so far, it is not producing the dire effects predicted. I think it would do no harm to cut emissions to err on the side of safety, but I think we need to find other efficient, less carbon-emitting energy sources to meet our increasing needs. That means making use of available technologies, including energy-efficient devices, and continuing to research ways of using & reusing emissions themselves as energy fuel.

            • Griff.

               /  17th December 2018

              Sea level rise predictions have been spectacular failures.
              Bla bla bla
              Yip facts from www

            • Gezza

               /  17th December 2018

              Morning Griff. On the job already. Good to see. Keep up the good work. 👍

            • Griff.

               /  17th December 2018

              Yess Gezza
              You dont have the excuse of being a rabid right wing nut job.
              Yet you are making up shite just like one .
              I have been watching this thread since it was first posted and only just bothered to comment on your made up “feeling” based waffling.

          • Gezza

             /  17th December 2018

            It’s also like the hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere, it’s hard to pick whether there’s any change to the natural pattern of a 25 (or so) year cycle of increasing & decreasing numbers, size and ferocity. There are still record-setters from decades ago which haven’t yet been matched; hurricane characteristics are hugely variable (area covered, duration, amount of rain, wind velocities, track, etc)

            • Griff.

               /  17th December 2018

              Made up facts.
              I much prefer published science to what you believe based on ignorance.
              Tropical cyclone power is increasing in every ocean .
              Not more storms but those that form are increasing in intensity.
              Tropical cyclones are heat engines.
              More energy = stronger storms
              Its basic fucken atmospheric physics.

            • Gezza

               /  17th December 2018

              Well, yes, I understand the basic atmospheric physics. But if I went looking I can probably find someone writing papers disputing whatever’s in that link.

              But I also just keep an eye on weather and floods. Bad ones don’t get repeated next year or even within the next 5 or 10 years. As I say, I think it is happening, but I think the proofs are not yet completely convincing for the reasons I state above.

              Why isn’t the Thames Barrier being consistently overtopped now?

              Anyhow, whatever, I’m off out to do stuff now, Griff. Keep making friends and influencing people.

            • Griff.

               /  17th December 2018

              But if I went looking I can probably find someone writing papers disputing whatever’s in that link.

              Do fuck off.
              Kerry Emanuel is the worlds leading expert mate .
              Yes you can find cranks .
              He is not .

            • Gezza

               /  17th December 2018

              Do fuck off.
              Do put your head back up there where you just shat it out from.

            • Griff.

               /  17th December 2018

              Make up shit .
              Get pawned for it
              Go all wobbly because you are made to look an arse.

              Never seen that one before…….ROFL

              Stop making up shite and I will not point your are full of it mate .

              Why isn’t the Thames Barrier being consistently overtopped now?
              12:01AM BST 26 Aug 2007

              A new £20 billion Thames barrier to save London from a potentially disastrous flooding threat is the centrepiece of a series of measures planned by the Government.

              Phil Woolas, the minister for climate change, told The Sunday Telegraph that a feasibility study into a second Thames barrier, potentially required within 25 years, was due to report in a matter of weeks.

              In addition, new flood defences are being planned for all major police, fire and power stations and other vital infrastructure in a bid to avoid more disastrous flooding of the kind that hit Britain last month.

              Mr Woolas said that during the floods, which caused up to £3 billion worth of damage, parts of Gloucestershire came within minutes of the biggest peacetime evacuation Britain has seen. It came after a crucial electricity sub-station was nearly destroyed.

              Flood experts say the existing Thames barrier, completed in 1983 may not be able to cope with rising tides by 2030. A second barrier, long rumoured to be in the planning, would be located farther east than the current defence system at Woolwich which has seen a dramatic increase in the number of times it has been put into use. When it first came on stream it was closed on average every couple of years – but in 2003 it was used 19 times.

              Asked whether he thought London would flood in the next 25 years, Mr Woolas said: “It may do. The environment agency are doing a feasibility study. When the Thames Barrier was built it was built on the assumption that there was a one in 2,000 year chance that London would flood.

              “That estimate now is one in 1,000 years. In other words from 1983 to today the probability has doubled. Mr Woolas confirmed ministers would take a decision about the second Thames barrier “some time next year”.

              “This is no longer an academic debate. We have seen the floods in England and the extreme weather across the world. The public need to understand that the point of no return is seven and a half years away.


            • Gezza

               /  17th December 2018

              Ah, yes – that’s quite good information, supporting my feeling that it is happening. Thanks for that. I never do my own research. I always figure out a way to get others to do it for me.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  17th December 2018

            When was the second five years when presumably you didn’t have snow in your yard every year and how is it different from the last five years?

      • Patricia

         /  17th December 2018

        Of course it’s bloody changing! It’s done so since its inception.

  1. Climate change rulebook ‘breakthrough’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition