The UN Climate Change Conference in December in Katowice, Poland (COP24), “must be a success” given the challenges facing the world, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, said on Tuesday in Krakow, Poland. “Success at COP24 means finalizing the Paris Agreement Work Program – period,” Mrs Espinosa said, stressing that “the stakes have never been higher … or the urgency greater.”
“We no longer have the luxury of time, nor do we have the luxury of endless negotiations,” she told the representatives of 35 countries taking part in the last COP preparatory conference from Monday to Wednesday, just over one month ahead of the global climate summit.
The Krakow meeting is preparing for the negotiations at COP 24, to be held from 2 to 14 December in Katowice, Upper Silesia region. The international community needs to finalize the Paris Agreement to meet the target of limiting climate change to less than 2°C, and even 1.52°C, compared to Industrial Revolution levels. The Agreement calls on countries to review upward their current commitments, which, as they stand, would result in a change of more than 3°C.
Espinoza said she was concerned since, according to the International Energy Agency, “energy-sector carbon emissions will rise again in 2018, after hitting record levels in 2017.”
Lack of action will “destabilize the global economy, which will affect all nations,” she warned, adding that “by 2030, the loss of productivity caused by a hotter world would cost the global economy 2 trillion dollars.”
The human cost would also be significant. “It is estimated that climate change could displace between 50 million and 200 million by 2050,” the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change warned.