With the Paris climate deal set to come into effect in 2020, nearly 200 countries gathered at Katowice in Poland to adopt a set of rules to limit global warming. Mint takes a look at the key outcome of the climate change conference and what it means for India.

What were the key issues at the conference?

After the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the conference was mandated to finalize the modalities, procedures and guidelines, called the “Paris Rulebook". The Paris Agreement called for keeping a global average temperature rise this century to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The other two key issues at the conference were the conclusion of the 2018 Facilitative Talanoa Dialogue and the stock-taking exercise on pre-2020 implementation and ambition.

What was the main outcome?

After two weeks of negotiations, the Katowice conference finalized a 133-page rulebook for implementation of the Paris Agreement, which was unanimously adopted by all member countries. The guidelines set out how countries will provide information about their Nationally Determined Contributions describing their domestic climate actions, mitigation and adaptation measures. The global stock-take also takes into consideration loss and damage due to adverse effects of climate change. However, the conference could not reach consensus on voluntary market mechanisms.

Any other highlights?

The US continued to obstruct the climate action talks on coal. The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to “welcoming" the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on global warming.

What was India’s response?

India reaffirmed its commitment to meeting the goals under the Paris Agreement and engaged in all the negotiations while protecting its key interests, including climate justice. But it expressed strong reservation over the lack of equity in the global stock-take decision, a proposed five-yearly review of the impact of countries’ climate change actions. India had expected that decisions would be in consonance with the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris pact.

What were the negotiations on climate finance?

The guidelines on finance provisions operationalized the obligation of developed countries to provide the means of implementation to developing countries, while recognizing the need for separate and additional finance for climate action. This includes guidelines for establishing new climate finance targets from 2025 onwards to follow on from the target of mobilizing $100 billion a year from 2020 to support developing countries.

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