The Warsaw Climate Change Conference
There is a plethora of issues on the climate change Warsaw agenda that are incredibly contentious, but a lack of international media coverage has largely obscured these topics. Lack of coverage of these issues almost guarantees that nations will ignore their ethical obligations, and thereby doom the development of an adequate global climate regime. So, what can we do? The following article explores some of these issues. We will also explore the Carbon budget and adaptation.
Loss and damage caused by climate change
The conference to review progress on climate change and the future of global emissions has a lot of important decisions to make. A major achievement is a new international mechanism for loss and damage, which will provide assistance to the developing world that has been affected by climate change. Although this issue was not on the agenda of COP26, the Climate Action Network and other allies mobilized civil society to make it a priority at the meeting.
Despite being an integral part of the UNFCCC process, the Warsaw Mechanism does not entail permanent solutions for the world’s climatic challenges. It incorporates loss and damage as a subcategory of adaptation, and many countries argue that it should be the third pillar of the UNFCCC. However, it is important to remember that the loss and damage associated with climate change are often far greater than the cost of adaptation.
The Warsaw talks set the stage for a broad and strong global climate agreement. There is substantial support for a final agreement by 2015 and it should take effect by 2020. The goals for the Paris climate talks were set at high levels, but they have since been reduced. The goal of keeping global temperatures from rising beyond 2 degrees Celsius has been set at 2 degrees. But how will the Warsaw meeting affect this? How will it affect climate change?
The IPCC report highlighted the importance of limiting cumulative emissions while addressing the gap between the 2015 to 2020 target and the post-2020 agreement. While many countries made commitments to reduce emissions, the questions remain as to how ambitious these pledges should be, what kind of review mechanisms would be in place, and how legally binding they should be. Another key issue is financial assistance. Both developed and developing countries need financial assistance to meet their long-term emissions targets and plug the fast-start gap.
In the case of Polish cities, multifunctional NBS could be a cost-effective solution for urban climate change mitigation and protection. Its implementation can result in improved knowledge, skills, and capacities of municipal staff and landscape planners. The project aims to develop the network of NBS experts in Poland. This network will work in collaboration with Poznan, Krakow, and Wroclaw. Its findings will be discussed at an upcoming conference.
The COP19 decision recognizes the importance of addressing the loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. It will help to strengthen knowledge and coordination of these actions and foster cooperation among institutions. The committee will propose an action programme that will be approved at the next Climate Change Conference in Lima. Once the plan is approved, a working group will be appointed to develop a programme to implement the plan. This is the first step in the implementation of the REDD+ programme.
The draft decision adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference included the inclusion of loss and damage as the third pillar of climate policy. Parties committed to improve support to countries affected by climate change, through a cooperative and facilitative mechanism called the Warsaw International Mechanism. The phrase “enhanced support” is intended to mean anything from finance and technology to material transfers to countries already suffering from irreversible impacts of climate change.
The process of the Warsaw International Mechanism will measure its success in identifying new ways to frame the issues and developing new types of solutions. The goal is to help vulnerable countries and people deal with the negative effects of climate change and avoid harming development goals in the process. The mechanism will also aim to align policy priorities with 21st century realities. The conference will take place in December 2019.
The urban context of climate change is a rapidly growing area, resulting in increased energy consumption and carbon emissions. While a smaller proportion of power in cities comes from industry, this power is still largely generated by fossil fuel combustion. Cities contribute to climate change by releasing heat into the atmosphere at higher temperatures than outlying areas. Because cities are growing rapidly, the amount of vegetation and green surface is decreasing, which increases the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
These cities are pioneering in their integration of mitigation measures for greenhouse gas emissions and urban adaptation measures. This integrated approach to reducing climate-related risks and ensuring benefits are shared fairly is a key component of adaptation research. In richer cities, this combination of actions will be a huge political and organizational undertaking, while it is extremely challenging in developing regions. The costs of financing such a large project, coupled with high interest rates, make these efforts prohibitively expensive.