By Vishal Gulati,
Katowice (Poland) : The political phase of the ongoing UN climate negotiations, amid the assembly of nearly 200 nations delegates, including India, was held on Tuesday with ministers and high-level country representatives together with non-party stakeholders shared plans for the transformation of economies in line with the 2015 Paris goals.
Climate experts told IANS the facilitative dialogue, also called Talanoa Dialogue, illustrated the huge progress already underway across all sectors and together with the landmark 1.5 degrees Celsius Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report with urgency and also scaled up ambition.
The high-level Talanoa roundtables, part of the UN Conference of the Parties (COP24), constitute the final part of a year-long global review that governments, business and civil society have fed into following the questions: “Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?” with the goal to increase countries climate ambition, a climate expert said.
Mahindra Group Chief Sustainable Officer Anirban Ghosh said: “The Talanoa Dialogue provides opportunities to have these bold discussions without any inhibitions, we are all in this together and we must all help each other to do more.”
“Climate champions like India and China realise that reducing emissions will help their countries, not only in reducing rising temperature but also in terms of air pollution,” he said.
Though the champions must also realise that they need to spearhead other countries in taking bold actions too. Processes like the Talanoa Dialogue infuse trust in the process, which is an essential element of any progress, and found wanting in the negotiations right now, Ghosh added.
Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International Executive Director said the leaders must now rise to the challenge and negotiate a decision on ambition here.
“Our world is on fire and the question that must be answered at this COP is: Will decision makers take responsibility and act? Youth and activists around the world are rising up, warning that they have had enough of inaction,” she said.
US-based World Resources Institute Senior Associate Eliza Northrop said: “The Talanoa Dialogue has been a breath of fresh air — creating an inclusive and participatory process to agree on a shared vision for a low carbon prosperous future and what we need to do to get there.”
“The many stories shared by countries, business, regions and cities emphasize the opportunities available for us to go further, faster and together. What countries need to do now is to send an unequivocal signal that they have listened to the 1.5 Celsius report and will enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020.”
So what is the Talanoa Dialogue?
In the Paris Agreement provisions foresee a “global stocktake” every five years, starting in 2023, to prepare a new round of ever-increasing national climate commitments called Nationally Determined Contributions.
The Talanoa Dialogue which was launched at the last COP in Bonn is meant to serve as an initial stocktaking exercise to inspire progress among countries and encourage them to increase their climate ambition.
By March 2020, the parties must update their national climate strategies, which currently are not sufficient to reach the two degrees Celsius let alone the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement.
Three crucial days are left starting Wednesday to ensure that the ongoing for COP-24 talks respond to the urgency highlighted by the IPCC report that says temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees as early as 2030 – with devastating impact.
To do that, in addition to delivering the Paris rulebook, the nations, both developed and developing, need to send a signal they are committed to collectively raise their ambition on climate change and united on a path forward to achieve that goal, say climate negotiators.
It means by December 14 there must be a clear and unambiguous outcome to that effect, a negotiator added.
(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)