In the capital of Upper Silesia, the most industrialised region of Poland, numerous heads of state, heads of government and nearly 100 ministers of the environment and foreign affairs from around the world were present at COP24. Thanks to the consensus of the Parties, Katowice, after Kyoto and Paris, has become yet another milestone on the road towards a sustainable global climate policy.
Twelve days of intense work have resulted in the completion of specific areas of the implementation rules of the Paris Agreement. During this time, a wide range of issues were discussed - some fundamental, others very detailed and technical – which gave birth to a complex and difficult document. Finance, transparency and adaptation are some of its aspects. In the Katowice Rulebook, the interests of all Parties were taken into account in a well-balanced, fair way. Thanks to it, a great step will be taken towards realising the ambitions expressed in the Paris Agreement. Ambitions that will make our children look back on our legacy and recognise that their parents made the right decisions at an important, historical moment.
Stopping climate change requires cooperation and joint coordinated action by all Parties to the Convention. Therefore, the goal of Poland as the presidency of the summit was to maintain the global character of the Katowice Rulebook and to shape a joint global climate policy, taking into account the possibilities and specific conditions of individual countries. The Paris Agreement has presented a vision of striving to balance the human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. The realisation of this vision is to be achieved thanks to the sovereignly defined so-called national contributions - NDC, taking into account the national economic, social, and environmental conditions of individual countries, as well as their development goals. The policies planned and implemented in this way will not only foster climate protection, they will also take into account the specificity of national economy and the developmental stage of each of the Parties to the agreement. Thanks to the implementation of the Katowice Rulebook, these efforts will be tailored to the capabilities of individual countries and will ensure a balance of obligations between states. The methods of reporting, common measures and a system containing data on emissions reduction were also adopted. In this way, the world has obtained at the global level all the necessary tools for the operationalisation of climate policy implemented by individual states.
Another important element of the Katowice Rulebook is to determine the shape of the Global Stocktake, which is expected to occur in 2023. The Global Stocktake of Climate Policy is to form the basis for the preparation of reduction plans after 2030. The main provisions of the Rulebook are complemented by the establishment of a Committee analysing and assessing the implementation of emission reduction targets by individual countries. The Committee may discipline - though not punish - states that do not fulfil their obligations, not only in the area of reduction, but also reporting systems or the possible inactivity of the Parties in the Global Stocktake.
The success achieved in Katowice shows that Poland is an effective ambassador of a sustainable approach to counteracting climate change. We have ambitions to shape principles in a spirit of solidarity and multilateralism, taking into account the sovereign determination of national commitments as a cornerstone of the effectiveness of global efforts. Our joint activities were not only about the production of texts or defending national interests. In creating the Katowice Rulebook, we were conscious of our responsibility to people and commitment for the fate of Earth, which is our home and the home of future generations who will come after us. Under these circumstances, each step forward was a great achievement.