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Climate Change: Five Things We've Learnt From COP24

1. The rules are key to the game:
The operational rules for the 2015 Paris climate agreement will govern the way the world tackles climate change for decades to come. The key thing was not to unravel the carefully negotiated Paris agreement by having one set of rules for the rich countries and another one for the poor. To keep everyone in check, the rules will also contain a compliance mechanism, which means that countries that don't submit their reports on time will face an inquiry. The new regulations are "flexible" for developing countries, meaning they can sign up to the rules at a later date.

2. Science is worth fighting for:
Efforts to find a compromise ended in failure. The vast majority of countries felt that acknowledging the science was critical at this conference. Their efforts did finally ensure that the IPCC was recognised - but many felt it was a token effort. 

3. International spirit is still alive:
Many countries had worried that with the rise of nationalism in many countries and the recent election of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil's president, the international co-operation needed to tackle climate change might be in danger. Everybody has supported the package, no single country has decided to step down.

4. A win for the process but not for the planet?
They point to the strength of the science, and the public recognition of the impacts of climate change seen this year in heatwaves and wildfires. "We have ended up here with more of a coal trade fair than a climate convention," said Mohamed Adow from Christian Aid, referring to the efforts to promote coal by Poland and the US at this conference. 

5. New voices are emerging:
Climate change chimes with young people in a way that is sometimes missing with older people, who make up the bulk of negotiators. The sense that perhaps this UN process doesn't quite connect with the modern world was summed up best by Mohamed Nasheed.

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Climate Change: Five Things We've Learnt From COP24 - by Vanessa Angotti - 12-19-2018, 01:02 PM

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