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Turning Point Glasgow? An Assessment of the Climate Conference COP26 journal article

Wolfgang Obergassel, Christof Arens, Christiane Beuermann, Victoria Brandemann, Lukas Hermwille, Nicolas Kreibich, Hermann E. Ott, Meike Spitzner

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 15 (2021), Issue 4, Page 271 - 281

The Glasgow climate conference marked a symbolic juncture, lying half-way between the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992 and the year 2050 in which according to the IPCC special report on the 1.5°C limit net zero CO2 emissions need to be reached, globally, in order to maintain a good chance of achieving the 1.5°C limit. This article undertakes an assessment of what the UNFCCC and in particular the Paris Agreement and its implementation process have actually achieved so far up to and including the results of the Glasgow conference. The article discusses efforts at ambition raising both within and outside the formal diplomatic process, the finalization of the implementation rules of the Paris Agreement, as well as progress on gender responsiveness, climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage. In summary, the Paris Agreement and its implementation can be considered a success as it is having a discernible impact on the behavior of parties as well as on non-party actors. However, significant further efforts will be required to actually achieve the objectives of the Agreement.


Paris Agreement: Ship Moves Out of the Drydock journal article

An Assessment of COP24 in Katowice

Wolfgang Obergassel, Christof Arens, Lukas Hermwille, Nicolas Kreibich, Hermann E. Ott, Hanna Wang-Helmreich

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 13 (2019), Issue 1, Page 3 - 18

Last year's conference of the global climate change regime took place from 2 until 15 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland. The conference had two main objectives: operationalising the Paris Agreement by adopting detailed rules for its implementation, and starting the process of strengthening Parties' climate protection contributions. This article covers the negotiations on these two sets of issues and also includes a discussion of other recent climate activities by Parties and non-Party actors. Success of the negotiations in Katowice was far from assured, but in the end COP24 concluded with the adoption of the ‘Katowice Climate Package’ setting out detailed guidelines on how to implement its various elements. However, the conference fell short on the first objective, none of the major emitting countries was ready to step up its climate ambition. The most important aspect of the Katowice outcome is therefore that it has brought the wrangling about implementation procedures to a close, making way for the true task at hand: the strengthening of national and international activities to protect the climate and the implementation of the existing pledges. Arguably, a key factor that has been slowing down climate policy is the power of entrenched interests. The article therefore concludes with a reflection on how such barriers to climate action may be overcome and what role future COPs may play in this regard.

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