COP24: Climate Protesters March On As Negotiations Intensify

,

Energy Observer , Katowice, Poland

On Dec. 9 thousands of environmental activists gathered in Katowice, Poland, to demand more action from their governments to curb global warming. The city is host to this year's 24th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where delegates from nearly 200 countries will debate how they can implement plans to keep global temperature rise in check. This is Poland's third time hosting the UN climate summit in the span of 10 years.  

当地时间12月9日,数千名来自世界各地的人们汇集到波兰南部城市卡托维兹进行游行,要求各国政府采取更严厉的行动来遏制全球变暖。今年是10年来波兰作为主席国第三次举办联合国气候大会。

 
Katowice is the largest city in the Silesian Metropolis, which is Poland's heartland for heavy industry, transportation, science and culture, as well as coal mining. Currently around 80 percent of Poland's power production is derived from coal-fired plants.
 
The protest parade drew farmers from Latin America, environmental activists from Asia, students from the United States and families from Europe. Many of them said that their lives are already affected by climate change. The parade commenced at the Climate Hub not far from the COP24 venue. It passed the summit venue and a few shopping blocks before returning to the junction where it started. According to the Polish media, the police estimated that there were around 3,000 people at the protest.

卡托维兹是西里西亚省最大城市,也是波兰重工业、交通运输和科学文化中心,还是波兰煤炭中心地带,波兰约80%的电力来自燃煤发电。

游行队伍的组成十分多样,有来自拉美的农民,亚洲的环保人士,美国的学生,还有来自欧洲的家庭,其中许多人表示气候变化已经影响了他们的生活。游行路线呈“几”字型,从气候大会会场附近的Climate Hub 出发,沿途经过会场和几个商业街区,最终回到会场的十字路口。据波兰媒体报道,警方估计有3000人参加了游行。

Protesters first gathered at every junction and crossroads, but they were soon surrounded by police. The police were equipped with shields, batons, guns and tear gas tanks. With anti-riot police surrounding the protesters, the parade took place in a very orderly fashion.

抗议者首先在沿途的每个交叉路口和道路交叉口集合,随后,就有警察包围了游行队伍。在防暴警察包围下,游行依旧非常有序,警察们持盾牌、警棍、枪支和催泪瓦斯罐。

In the midst of the parade, the police tried to disperse the crowds and for a while the parade stalled. It eventually ended at the COP24 venue at around 5 p.m.

At the end of the first week of the two-week-long negotiations, progress has been slow. Delegates have not arrived at a consensus on the 'rulebook' for the Paris Agreement, the landmark 2015 compact where they committed to reduce their climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. Countries have continued to debate their obligations under the agreement as well as the compensation mechanisms for loss and damage caused by climate change impacts.

Climate finance is another sticking point. In 2014, a Green Climate Fund was established as the financial mechanism accountable to the COP. It came into operation in 2015, but the first round of climate funds is expected to be used up by the middle of next year, creating an urgent need to start replenishing the fund for the developing countries to work toward climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. 

The U.S. has pledged US$3 billion but has so far only contributed $1 billion to the fund and does not seem to be keen to fulfill the remaining $2 billion. Currently, Germany leads with a pledge to commit new funding of 1.5 billion Euros. Whether Germany's action will be followed by other countries, remains to be seen as ministers from the Paris Agreement signatory states arrive for the second week of negotiations. During the week, those ministers will cross-check developed countries' contributions against their pledges and set longer-term climate financing targets.
 
For China's part, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs, Xie Zhen Hua, emphasized at a side-event at the China Pavilion on Dec. 7 that China is the world's largest developing country with millions of poor people who are facing the brunt of environmental challenges. Those challenges are compounded by uncertainty in China's economy. Xie said China, as a developing country, has already taken all necessary measures in terms of emissions reduction and climate change mitigation. At the same time, as China works toward meeting its climate targets, it has reduced the population of rural poor by 10 million.
 
Responding to a question on the progress of COP24, Xie pointed out that the first week included more than 70 points of negotiation and overall every country adopted a positive attitude.
 
"Until now there is steady progress, and as we enter the second week the points of contention will surface. Everyone hopes that the multilateral mechanism will be effective, and China will continue to take a positive attitude in contributing to the effective development of the multilateral process," Xie said.
 
Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, also attended the side event at the China pavilion. He said China is the world's largest energy consumer as well as a renewable energy leader and the main producer of electric cars globally. As such, the country plays a very important role in global climate governance. Apart from political measures, Birol suggested that China should establish bridges between air quality and climate change to further improve policy implementation.
 
 
此时,距气候大会已开幕一周,记者从谈判代表了解到目前谈判已取得进展,但进展缓慢。

目前谈判中的“烫手山芋”已经浮出水面,首先是依托《巴黎协定》制定的“规则手册”,用以区分各国应对气候变化的义务、损失损害补偿机制,但其中的技术细节还难以敲定。

其次, 气候融资仍是一个绊脚石,后2025年资金目标等问题还存在分歧。目前,气候变化框架公约下面有个专门的针对气候资金的绿色气候基金(Green Climate Fund),其自2014年建立,至2015年正式运转,目前第一轮注资的钱现有可能在明年年中用完,因此现在需要开启第二轮注资的进程,给发展中国家提供资金。

此前美国承诺注资300亿美元,迄今只完成100亿,而剩下的200亿资金美国似乎已没有意愿继续注资。到目前为止,德国已经做出了表率,加倍注资绿色气候基金共计150亿欧元。是否有其他国家跟随,本周缔约方各国部长的到来即将揭晓。在第二周,在资金问题上,各国部长将对资金进行统计、盘点发达国家已兑现的资金承诺,以及设定未来长期的资金目标。 

关于中国的减排责任问题,中国气候变化事务特别代表解振华在7日参加中国角举行的边会时对此强调,中国是最大的发展中国家,中国目前还有3000至7000万贫困人口,正面临改善生态环境等挑战,加之当前经济不确定性因素,仍然有很大挑战。在节能减排,应对气候变化工作方面,作为发展中国家,中国已采取了应做的所有措施,在实现气候目标的同时,还消除了1亿贫困人口,解决了结构调整。

针对第一周的谈判进程,解振华指出,第一周涉及70多个议题,总体各国都采取了积极态度。“现在为止进展平缓,第二周主要分歧会表露出来,大家都希望多边机制展现有效性,中国会采取积极态度,促进多边进程有效发展”,解振华表示。

作为COP 24出访第一站,国际能源署署长法提赫`比罗尔(Fatih Birol)也出席了昨日的中国角边会,他指出,中国是最大的能源消费国,也是可再生能源引领者和全球电动汽车的主要生产者,在全球气候治理中的角色非常重要。同时,他提出建议,除了政治措施,还应在空气质量与气候变化之间建立桥梁和联系,推动政策执行。