Concerns raised over COP24 chances of success

Concern has been voiced by the business community about the prospects of meeting climate change targets.
Photo credit: Pixabay

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

11 May 2018

It comes following the latest round of the United Nations climate change negotiations - the so-called Bonn climate change conference - finished on Thursday in the German city.

However, the Brussels-based body representing Europe’s business community, BusinessEurope, said it was “concerned about the slow progress” made at this week’s meeting, which comes ahead of the COP24 event in Katowice, Poland, in December.

Delegates in Bonn prepared negotiating texts to allow governments to reach agreement on the ‘Paris rulebook’ at COP24 in Katowice. This contains the rules and procedures to implement the 2015 Paris agreement.


Reacting to the outcome of the Bonn meeting, BusinessEurope Director General Markus Beyrer said, “The completion of the Paris rulebook at COP24 in Katowice will be a crucial signal to businesses to continue and increase their investments in combating climate change. The European business community is at the forefront of developing and deploying new technologies to move us towards a low-carbon future.

“However, despite extensive efforts the meeting was unable to finalise a negotiating text and an additional meeting will be required in September 2018.

“We are disappointed that governments failed to finish the negotiating text at the conference in Bonn and that a further meeting is required. It is crucial that governments adopt the Paris rulebook at COP24 to provide the confidence that their actions match their words,” said Beyrer.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Corporate Europe Observatory, the Brussels based transparency campaign group, has voiced concern about possible conflict of interest of those taking part in such events as the one this week in Germany and later this year in Poland.

Its climate campaigner Pascoe Sabido said, “Countries at the front lines of climate change and the global civil society movements supporting them are not alone in demanding the UN curb conflicts of interest at its climate change conferences.

“While the European Parliament recently passed a resolution with the exact same requests, the European Commission continues to block progress on this issue - alongside historic polluters like the USA and Australia.”

His comments are echoed by Paul de Clerck, economic justice programme coordinator at the Brussels-based Friends of the Earth Europe, who said, “While oil and gas companies are publicly speaking about their commitment to the Paris agreement, we see them obstructing strong climate policies behind the scenes and lobbying for measures like carbon capture and storage that let them off the hook.”

He added, “As long as these companies have such excessive influence over negotiators, we will not see a fossil free world and will not be able to keep global warming under 1.5°C.”

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