Conference gets underway in Poland to write rules on climate change action

The Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, says New Zealand will put in every effort to ensure success for the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which gets underway in Katowice, Poland, tonight.

 “Over the next two weeks in Katowice, COP24 needs to agree the guidelines that countries will use to implement the Paris Agreement,” says James Shaw.

“The negotiations cover a complex range of inter-related issues, including how countries report their own actions, how the actions of other countries will be reviewed, and how support is provided to ensure all countries can contribute to reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“Our New Zealand delegation’s first priority will be to see agreement reached on the Paris guidelines.

“New Zealand is also co-hosting a series of events on sustainable agriculture and climate change, collectively called ‘Act!on Agriculture’. 

“The events will focus on the role the agriculture sector can play in achieving the aims of the Paris Agreement.

“We’ll also be working with other countries to galvanise greater collective action through initiatives such as the Carbon Neutrality Coalition, the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and the High Ambition Coalition.

“And we will continue to advocate for our Pacific region and friends; especially given the recent warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which states that action is critical over the next 10 to 12 years to limit global temperature rise to 1.5o Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” says James Shaw.

“I’m under no illusion the sorts of questions we face in Katowice will involve some tough discussions, but COP23 in Paris three years ago showed that we can reach agreement on a common purpose when it comes to the crunch.

“So, I am confident minds will be focused, discussions will be robust, and every effort will be made to agree on a package of “rules” by which we can meet this climate challenge,” says Mr Shaw.