World gathers to prepare Paris climate pact implementation

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Bangkok : Against the backdrop of severe and record heatwaves, bushfires, droughts and floods across the world, governments are convening a supplementary six-day meeting here from Tuesday to prepare the implementation guidelines of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The guidelines are needed to make the 2015 Paris Agreement work fairly and transparently for all.

Following a two-year negotiation process, the implementation guidelines are set to be adopted at the annual climate conference, COP24, to be held in Katowice, Poland in December.

While the talks have made modest progress, the Bangkok meeting is the last opportunity before COP24 to accelerate negotiations.

"Building on progress made, countries now need to take a decisive step forward in preparing the ambitious and balanced outcome that we need in Katowice," Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told reporters here.

Achieving success at COP24 will be challenging without the preparation of an official negotiating text on the implementation guidelines.

"It will be critical for negotiators in Bangkok to produce solid text-based output that can function as the basis for the concluding negotiations in Katowice and be turned into the final implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP24.

"The texts capturing progress to date are not yet refined enough for this purpose," Espinosa said.

"With only six additional days for negotiations in Bangkok, the UN Climate Change is carefully coordinating demands to fully support countries in their important task," she added.

Highly technical in nature, the implementation guidelines are needed to monitor progress on climate action.

Such action includes measures to deal with climate impacts such as droughts or floods and urgent support to enable developing countries to contribute to climate action.

They are also essential for determining whether emissions are being reduced at an ambitious rate to achieve the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and as close to 1.5 degrees as possible this century.

Importantly, the guidelines are also needed to make the agreement's institutions fully operational beyond COP24.

"Every year, the impacts of climate change are getting worse. This means that every year, the poorest and most vulnerable, who have contributed almost nothing to the problem, suffer more," Espinosa said.

Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group Gebru Jember Endalew said: "This additional Bangkok session will be critical to the delivery of a robust, balanced and comprehensive set of implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement at COP24.'

"Negotiators have one week in Bangkok before Katowice; time to develop these rules is running out and there remains a lot of work to be done. A last-minute rush in Katowice must be avoided so that the voices of poor and vulnerable countries are fully heard."

The LDC Group looks forward to working with other countries to develop a strong package of guidelines to implement the Paris Agreement.

The 2018 Climate Weeks in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in mid-September and Climate Week in New York towards the end of September, to name a few, are all events that rally both governments and non-Party stakeholders around climate change.

"These events clearly demonstrate global momentum. They show that the world is ready to implement the Paris Agreement in the way world leaders envisaged in Paris in 2015," Espinosa added.

With 197 Parties, the UNFCCC has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.