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As COP24 opens, UN urges countries to ratify Paris climate agreement

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2018-12-03 14:49
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The annual United Nations Climate Change conference opened on Sunday in Katowice, Poland, with the goal of finalizing the implementation guidelines for the Paris agreement. However, 13 parties in the agreement have yet to ratify the landmark accord.

As of Saturday, 184 of the 197 parties in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change had ratified the Paris agreement, Michal Kurtyka, president of the 24th Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC, or COP24, said at the first plenary session.

A COP24 news release said negotiations on the implementation guidelines were launched six months after the UN climate conference in the French capital in late 2015. COP24 was set as the deadline to finish negotiations.

“I congratulate these parties and encourage other parties to ratify the Paris agreement as soon as possible,” Kurtyka said.

The Paris agreement was accepted by almost every country in the world at the 2015 conference, and it was entered into force on Nov 4, 2016. It aims to tackle climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and setting a global target of keeping the average temperature rise no higher than 2 C above preindustrial levels.

In addition to negotiations for the implementation guidelines, COP24 will conclude the yearlong Talanoa Dialogue led by the presidency of COP23. The news release said it is the first international conversation of its kind to assess progress toward the goals of the Paris agreement, including the goal of limiting global temperature increases.

It also stated that capacity building for climate action will receive a significant boost at COP24. About 35 events will be held at a capacity building hub, which will cover topics such as implementing national climate plans, mainstreaming gender into climate policy and action at all levels, and utilizing the knowledge of indigenous people.

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