Call of Former COP Presidents for an Effective COP24 in Katowice

The first signatories are: Laurent FABIUS, President of COP21, Frank BAINIMARAMA, President of COP23, Salaheddine MEZOUAR, President of COP22, Manuel PULGAR VIDAL, President of COP20.

We, former Presidents of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, are extremely concerned about the climate crisis and join our voices to the chorus of those seeking enhanced action. Scientists have relentlessly reminded us of how urgent the climate and environmental crisis is.

The warnings contained in the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C as well as the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2018 were just the latest examples of this. We are approaching dangerous climate thresholds, species are disappearing at an unseen rate, lands are degrading at an accelerated pace and global carbon dioxide emissions increased in 2017 after a three-year period of stabilization. As a consequence, access to water, food, the conditions for stability, peace and prosperity are more than ever under threat; and if the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the 2°C temperature goal, let alone the 1.5°C, can still be reached.

The impacts of climate change are increasingly hard to ignore. Every year, weather events and pollution claim millions of victims and destroy hundreds of billions dollars’ worth of infrastructures and livelihoods. Droughts ruin rural areas and degraded lands increase hunger and migrations. Poverty reduction, human development and progress on other Sustainable Development Goals are put at risk.

The world is at a crossroads and decisive action in the next two years will be crucial to tackle these urgent threats. The challenges are there, as are the solutions. We require deep transformations of our economies and societies to build a better world for all. This must be powered by multilateral cooperation.

What ministers and other leaders say and do in Katowice at COP24 will help determine efforts for years to come and either bring the world closer to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement – including protecting those most vulnerable to climate change – or push action further down the road. Any delay will only make it harder and more expensive to respond to climate change.

Reaffirming the need for greater ambition, consistent with the Paris Agreement, we:

Call on Parties and non-Party stakeholders to send an unequivocal message from Katowice for enhanced ambition by 2020 that puts the world on a trajectory compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement,

Invite them to:

  • Adopt a set of ambitious decisions that are sufficiently detailed and comprehensive to enable the effective operation of the Paris Agreement;
  • Ensure the consistency of such decisions with the letter and spirit of the Paris Agreement;
  • Announce the launch of domestic multi-stakeholder participatory processes that will enable the communication of ambitious new or updated NDCs by 2020;
  • Welcome, and express concern regarding the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathway;
  • Welcome the Talanoa Dialogue outcomes to assess progress and identify opportunities to accelerate action and enhance ambition;
  • Call upon Parties ready to do so to enhance their climate-related action, including by communicating ambitious new or updated NDCs by 2020;
  • Communicate by 2020 mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emissions development strategies;
  • Ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol;
  • Stress that just transition, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities are crucial to ensuring an effective and inclusive transition to low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development;
  • Demonstrate progress on the goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020;
  • Invite additional support from developed countries, operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, other multilateral institutions, and countries in a position to do so for mitigation and adaptation activities of developing countries;
  • Ensure that countries, operating entities of the Financial Mechanism, and other multilateral institutions, ensure that, per the Paris Agreement objective, their funding flows are consistent with a pathway towards low-emissions and climate-resilient development.
  • Recognize and welcome the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in 2019 as a key global moment to enhance ambition and accelerate collective action ahead of 2020.