UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice 2018

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UN Climate Change Conference 2018
COP24 pleanary.jpg
plenumTemplate: Infobox / maintenance / picture

place Katowice , PolandPolandPoland 
date 2nd-15th December 2018
Members of the UNFCCC

The UN climate conference in Katowice 2018 ( United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , 24th Conference of the Parties , COP 24 for short ) took place as the 24th UN climate conference , at the same time as the 14th meeting on the Kyoto Protocol ( 14th Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol , CMP 14 for short) as well as the 3rd meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) from December 2nd to 15th, 2018 in Katowice, Poland .

The COP 24 was the follow-up conference to the COP 23 that took place in Bonn in November 2017 under the leadership of the island state of Fiji and aims to implement the 200-page “rule book” agreed in Bonn for the implementation of the Paris Agreement adopted at COP 21 in 2015 ("World Climate Agreement") initiate; The follow-up meeting was the COP 25 in the first half of December 2019 in the Spanish capital Madrid .

Preparation and preparation

According to the IPCC's special report published at the beginning of October in preparation for COP 24, the global average temperature in 2018 is around one degree higher than the pre- industrial level . The current global climate policy would lead to global warming of around three degrees. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) had the Paris Convention ( "World Climate Agreement") with a limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 ° Celsius as possible resolved (s. A. Two-degree goal ) . A study carried out by the Berlin research institute Climate analytics as a result of the IPCC special report stated that Germany would have to give up coal- fired power generation by 2030 in order to achieve the 1.5 ° target .

At the end of the COP-24 preparatory meeting in Bangkok on September 8th, tens of thousands of participants demonstrated in 94 countries around the world under the motto Rise for Climate for a global, consistent, effective and serious climate protection policy ; At the conference, climate finance was (once again) the main topic of conflict (→  Green Climate Fund , Loss and Damage ) , especially for the period after 2026, which was not yet dealt with after the world climate treaty passed at COP 23 in Paris. In addition, the further distinction between " Industry "and" developing countries "are controversial: While a group of developing countries around China , India , Iran and Saudi Arabia (the" like-minded ") insists, other developing country groups such as the island states , the" progressive " Latin American states or the poorest countries, because the lines of conflict no longer exist between developing and industrialized countries, but between those who advocate robust implementation of the Paris Agreement and those who want to weaken it.

On October 8, the announced Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences , the winner of the Economics Nobel Prize in 2018, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer - for their research on sustainable economic growth in the context of climate change and technological progress.

Also on October 8th, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its annual report on the development of renewable energies : after that, their share in global energy production is increasing ever faster.

Immediately after the publication of the IPCC's special report on COP 24 , the EU environment ministers met in Luxembourg on October 9th to negotiate and adopt new CO 2 emission limit values ​​for new vehicles: while the EU Commission and, for example, Germany for a Reduction of the value last set from 2021 of an average of 95 grams of CO 2 emissions per kilometer driven by another 30% by 2030, several other northern and western European states such as the EU Parliament advocate tightening this limit by 40%. The Austrian Council Presidency had proposed the 35% compromise, which was finally agreed after almost 14 hours of negotiations and with which the ministers enter into the subsequent detailed negotiations between the EU Commission and the EU Parliament.

The updated Resource Report 2060 of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published at the end of October predicts both a doubling of global raw material consumption by 2060 and global CO 2 emissions (with the world population growing by far less rapidly) and recommends measures e.g. B. in mobility and consumption - the 1.5 ° target announced in Paris could not be achieved on the previous path. A counter-strategy would be the further establishment of a circular economy with an improvement in recycling and resource efficiency .

The European Commission called for the end of November the realization of a " carbon-neutral EU" economy to the 2050th

After a late November in the scientific journal Science Advances published study could with continued warming and ocean acidification , the survival possibilities of the most important human food fish Atlantic cod and the many Arctic serving animals as the food source polar cod decrease by up to 50%.

9. UNEP Emissions Gap Report

According to the 9th Emissions Gap Report ("Annual Greenhouse Gas Report ") published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on November 23, 2018 in Paris, it is still possible to limit global man-made warming to an average of two degrees by 2100, However, in order to achieve the goals agreed with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, countries around the world would have to at least triple their efforts to date. If one continues as before, the earth temperature would increase by about 3.2 degrees compared to the time before industrialization and then continue to rise.

In 2017, after three relatively stable years, global CO 2 emissions rose to a new high of 53.5 gigatons, mainly because the economy is growing worldwide and energy consumption is only slowly falling, especially from the generation of energy from the fossil fuel coal . The CO 2 concentration in the atmosphere was at 405.5 ppm ( parts per million ) is now as high as three to five million years ago and there were no signs of a reversal of the trend towards long-term global warming, sea level rise , ocean acidification and the accumulation of extreme weather conditions .

The slowdown in the decline in the concentration of the “ ozone killertrichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), a coolant, banned under the international ozone agreement (“ Montreal Protocol ”) is of particular concern . This points to new, illegal production of the substance: the environmental protection organization Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) names the foam industry in China as the polluter.

14th World Conservation Conference

The 14th World Conservation Conference with 196 participating countries took place 25 years after the UN Biodiversity Convention was passed from November 17th to 29th in Sharm el-Sheikh , Egypt .

G20 summit in Buenos Aires

On November 30th and December 1st, the weekend before the climate conference, the 13th G20 summit of the " Group of the twenty most important industrialized and emerging countries " took place in Buenos Aires in Argentina (→  G20 summit in Buenos Aires 2018 ) : here was the global climate is one of the main issues alongside trade and migration ; the USA was once again the only participant who did not support the commitment to the world climate agreement passed in Paris in the final declaration.

Health consequences of global warming

A report published in the Environmental Health Perspectives at the end of October this year adds up to 9 to 33 million asthma emergencies worldwide as a result of inhaling particulate matter , ozone or nitrogen dioxide .

In early November of that year, the World Health Organization ( WHO) pointed out that at least 23% of deaths in Africa were now environmental-related; the African island states expressed the need for more help to cope with the effects of climate change on health, e.g. B. the deterioration of the nutritional situation or the resurgence of mosquito-borne diseases.

According to a report published at the end of November by the project of the medical journal " The Lancet " with the United Nations and 27 leading research institutions worldwide on the health consequences of climate change for people, the global temperature rise is increasingly becoming a health threat: After 157 million more people in 2017 worldwide were affected by extreme heat waves than around 2000, the report lists 153 billion for 2017 due to heat lost working hours and economic losses amounting to 326 billion US dollars. Particulate matter and poor air caused 2.9 million premature deaths, and 90% of people living in cities were in areas with poor air quality, causing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Global weather and climate

According to initial analyzes by the World Weather Organization (WMO) from the beginning of December, 2015 to 2018 were the four warmest years since records began in the 19th century . In 2016, the global average temperature reached a record of plus 1.3 degrees above the long-term average, followed by 2017 as the eighth warmest year since the beginning of the 20th century and 2015; 2018 is on the way to becoming the fourth warmest since measurements began. In addition, the 20 warmest years would be found in the past 22 years. For 2019, the probability of a recurrence of the El Niño weather phenomenon was given as 75 to 80%, which means 2019 should again be warmer than 2018.

According to a report published on October 10 by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Geneva (UNISDR), the number of climate-related disasters such as floods, storms, heat waves , droughts and forest fires rose above average worldwide between 1997 and 2017 from 165 to 329 per year.

With the temporary Category 5 hurricaneFlorence ” and the “Super Typhoon ” “ Mangkhut ” in September 2018, the influence of global warming on weather events was discussed again; In the case of “Florence”, it was possible for the first time to extrapolate the extent to which man-made global warming caused him, for example, during the event. As during the heating of the oceans have influenced (→  Florence / connection to climate change ) . On October 10th, category 4 hurricane "Michael" hit the south coast of Florida in Florida, again breaking several negative records. At the end of October, Hurricane Willa off the west coast of Mexico developed from a tropical storm to a category 5 hurricane within two days.

Long and widespread lack of rain for several months from April to December of that year led to persistent and pronounced drought in large parts of Europe , including Germany; In connection with this drought and heat, international climate research is discussing a weakening of the global jet stream caused by the consequences of global warming in the Arctic , quasi a "resonance" - and thus a reinforcing effect of the man-made climate crisis accompanied by a change in the Rossby waves . And sometimes the door of the arctic refrigerator in the USA opens.

The California forest fires in November 2018 are some of the worst there on record; three weeks later, parts of the affected areas had to be evacuated again, now due to the consequences of torrential rain and the threat of flooding .

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

After the preparatory meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Incheon, South Korea from October 1st to 7th, a special report was published by 91 authors from 40 countries and approved by over 100 countries; According to the IPCC, several hundred authors and researchers have analyzed around 6,000 corresponding publications: According to this, the 1.5 ° target agreed in the World Climate Agreement in Paris would just about be achievable, but only with "fast and far-reaching, unprecedented measures" global greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced much faster than previously planned. So they would have until 2030 to about 45% below the level of 2010 and 2050 to net zero sink, so then for each emitted ton of CO 2 to the atmosphere are such withdrawn the same amount of greenhouse gas. B. by planting additional forests . With a high degree of certainty, the negative impact of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems due to species extinction at a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees would be “significantly smaller” and the risks for biodiversity in the oceans lower.

The special report quantifies and compares, among other things, A. Scenarios of global warming by 1.5 or 2 ° Celsius: If the limitation to 1.5 ° is successful, z. For example, the rise in sea levels in the 21st century would be about ten centimeters less than at 2 °, with an increase of 1.5 ° 70 to 90% of the coral reefs in the oceans would perish, with a temperature rise of 2 ° 99%.

The EU Commission immediately promised stronger climate protection efforts by means of a long-term strategy geared towards 2050; The former German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD), who was involved in the creation of the World Climate Agreement, spoke out in favor of a greater contribution by the transport sector, for example by strengthening local public transport and electromobility . The incumbent German Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) did not want to lose any more time with climate protection, the German Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) called for greater consideration of the scientific potential for climate protection.


Right-wing and right-wing populist politician Jair Bolsonaro , who was elected in the presidential elections for Brazil on October 28th - originally host country of the follow-up conference COP 25 - was partly categorized as right-wing extremist and fascist and had announced in his election campaign that his country would withdraw from the 2015 World Climate Agreement, a step which Trump had already carried out for the USA in 2016. In addition, Bolsonaro wants to reduce the protection of the Amazon rainforests, which are important for the global CO2 content in the atmosphere, and fight and limit corresponding activities, some militarily.

On November 28 of that year, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry announced that Brazil would not be able to host the COP 25 in 2019 - due to financial bottlenecks and the upcoming change of government. The designated President Bolsonaro said he had urged the government to this decision because the sovereignty of Brazil was in danger over the Amazon rainforest. According to the British television broadcaster BBC , deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest will reach its highest level in ten years in 2018: between August 2017 and July 2018, 7,900 km² of forest were cut down, a total of more than the area of ​​a million football fields and 13% more than in 2017. 2017 was the deforestation decreased by 16% compared to 2016, in 2012 a previous low of 4,500 km² was reached.


In connection with “ divestment ” efforts, z. B. In early May 2018, the German insurance -Groß Group Alliance that it consists of individual insurance from coal power plants would get out and coal mining rather than in companies investing wanted that the aim of the Paris climate agreement at risk, to limit global warming to below two degrees . By 2040, the group wants to gradually withdraw completely from the coal business in consultation with affected customers. At the beginning of November, the third largest European insurance group Generali announced its withdrawal from the insurance of coal-based industries.

After Germany and Poland jointly organized the 9th Petersberg Climate Dialogue from 18 to 19 June 2018 in Berlin with the motto Changing together for a just transition ( "Common change for a just transition ") the summed German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) in an interim balance on behalf of the federal government that the German climate targets for 2020 would be missed, electrical power in the FRG is now 36% renewable , but in Germany the phase-out from coal-fired power generation is probably the greatest challenge and a separate climate protection law will be passed in 2019 should be. The method of the “ Talanoa Dialogue” introduced by the host country Fiji at the previous COP 23 2017 in Bonn was used again to search for a consensus . The parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter of the German Alliance 90 / The Greens in the Bundestag then called on the government of the fourth largest industrial nation in the world and largest producer of lignite to take concrete climate protection measures and to reverse the trend in traffic , buildings and agriculture ; 7 to 10 gigawatts of brown coal electricity should be switched off immediately in the face of overproduction, after all it is about the livelihoods of children in particular. According to the unanimous opinion of government chairmen Angela Merkel and Mateusz Morawiecki , the transport sector is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in climate protection efforts.

The national conflict over an "actual" energy turnaround with a consequent coal phase-out focused and culminated at the beginning of October in the disputes and protests about the occupation and evacuation of the Hambacher, which is intended by the Rheinisch-Westfälische Elektrizitätswerke (RWE) to continue mining the brown coal , which is considered to be particularly environmentally harmful Forsts , which escalated parallel to the installation of the Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment . Several scientific reports have shown that further lignite mining is not necessary; After the evacuation of the sometimes decades-long occupation with thousands of police forces, the police withdrew completely from the forest after a large-scale demonstration with between 30 and 50,000 participants and a court order to stop clearing.

According to a Bundestag paper published by the German news magazine Der Spiegel in early October, around 3 million people in Germany live in coastal regions that are at risk from flooding as a result of the global rise in sea levels caused by climate change ; According to this, around 200 million people worldwide currently live in coastal areas with only five or less meters above sea level. The number of those affected by the rise in sea levels could rise to as high as 400 to 500 million by the end of the 21st century.

Demonstrations in the run-up to the conference on December 1, 2018 in Berlin and Cologne: "Stop coal!" - "Climate protection now!"

On December 1, 2018 demonstrations in Berlin and Cologne under the motto “Stop coal! - Climate protection now! ”According to the organizers, a total of almost 40,000 people for a quick and consistent coal exit.

At the start of the climate conference, the climate scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber , the political scientist Claus Leggewie and the economist David Löw Beer proposed the establishment of a state fund as a market-based instrument for climate protection with a volume of up to 0.6 billion euros, the goal of which is to set a clear goal Sign in the direction of a sustainability transformation. The fund is to be fed from higher taxes on greenhouse gas emissions from carbon dioxide and - for the purpose of pricing CO2, also from past emissions - from a higher inheritance tax . Funds would either flow directly into infrastructure projects or into the sovereign wealth fund, which invests in companies with benefits for climate protection and the energy transition according to defined criteria .

In the course of the conference on December 14th, “ hot time ” as a characterization of the hot summer of 2018 and a serious warning about the consequences of global warming was chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) in Wiesbaden as the German “ word of the year ”.

"Coal commission"

The “ Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment ” set up at the beginning of October to organize a German “ coal exit ” was postponed until 2019.

United States

In view of the catastrophic forest fires in California, especially in November 2018, US President Trump described the current global warming as existing, but still doubted the scientific analyzes of its anthropogenic causes.

According to the annual “national climate report” published by the White House at the end of November 2018 without further comment, if the “business as usual” climate change would reduce US gross domestic product by 10% by the end of the century with annual losses of hundreds of billions of dollars in some economic sectors, "More than the current economic output of many US states". Trump meanwhile mocked via Twitter in view of an unusual cold snap in the USA for the time of the year, "what actually happened to global warming".

Partly contrary to expectations and contrary to Trump's announcement in 2017 that he would withdraw from the world climate agreement passed in Paris in 2015 in 2020, the USA worked constructively in the background.

Host country and negotiator Poland

The main part of the conference will take place in a converted former mine . Katowice is located in the "Silesian coal basin", where most of the 33 Polish out of the 50 worst European smog cities are located, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

After the EU commission set the goal of a CO 2 -free EU economy by 2050 at the end of November , Poland's energy minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski announced, according to the Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP) news agency , that his country could not follow suit. At that time Poland was generating around 80% of its electrical energy from coal-fired power generation , and by 2030 this share should still be around 60%.


At the COP 24 in Katowice it will be determined which rights and obligations the individual states have in order to achieve the 1.5 ° target set in Paris. Uniform or at least comparable methods for measuring greenhouse gases play an essential role here - these have so far only existed for the “ industrialized countries ”; the “ developing countries ” still have to set up reporting systems in this context.


French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe canceled his participation in COP 24 on December 1st in Paris following the riots in connection with the protests of the yellow vests movement .

As in many previous UN climate conferences in the meantime, results were struggled in Katowice to the end, and the meeting had to be extended. B. the financial aid for the affected countries as well as dealing with the IPCC special report with the urgent warning about the 1.5 degree target; There was also criticism that the topic of damage and losses only appeared as a footnote .

Only on the Friday morning before the end of the conference was it possible to submit a 144-page draft from the negotiation results, 185 text passages were controversial until an agreement was reached.

Towards the end of the conference, the German delegation joined the High Ambition Coalition (" Coalition of the Highly Ambitious "), an alliance of developing and industrialized countries that was pushing for a strong agreement. I.a. Saudi Arabia proved to be a drag. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres , who had traveled again, tried to support the negotiations with bilateral talks.

After a night session , the climate conference continued on December 15; Several states also blocked the decision- making process on the first day of the extension, above all Brazil , which is about to change government under the new President Bolsonaro after the elections at the end of October in January and February 2019.

The speech by the Swedish schoolgirl and climate protection activist Greta Thunberg , who also met with the UN Secretary General, was shared virally on the Internet and frequently commented on in the German media.


On December 15, 2018, late in the evening, the conference was able to announce a compromise as a result of limiting the rise in global warming to two degrees, measured against pre-industrial values. The new " standards " include, for example:

  • A UN committee is to document how the individual countries meet the emissions targets they have set themselves.
  • Transparency rules and standards for CO 2 recording for the traceability and comparability of the respective national efforts to achieve the goals. Poor countries are given more time to create the appropriate technical conditions.
  • Damage and losses due to climate change (→  Loss and Damage ) are now recorded in regular inventories for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This is seen as a success of the particularly threatened island states , which are demanding more support in dealing with the corresponding damage.
  • The industrialized countries now submit a report every two years on their financial aid for adaptation and climate protection.
  • Starting in 2020, the states are to report every two years on the measures they are taking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • From 2023 onwards, every five years will now be assessed whether the efforts of the states can effectively limit global warming.
  • From 2025, the industrialized countries and, voluntarily, the emerging countries are to increase their financial aid for adaptation to climate change; all payments and their effects must be precisely documented.
  • At the international trade in CO 2 certificates only countries allowed to participate, follow the rule-compliant targets to limit their respective emissions.

The rules that have been passed are not a “must”, but are intended to take effect through “naming and shaming”, in which corresponding countries are publicly denounced in the event of violations.

A conflict over calculation methods for emissions trading was postponed.


Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace or the German BUND were disappointed and criticized the results for being too vague: The individual nations still lacked information on the start of a noticeable reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions. The WWF criticized the abandonment of the 1.5 ° target.

Aid organizations protested that the richer states could have credits granted to deal with consequential climate damage fully offset against their corresponding services - according to the agreements made in Paris 2015, the industrialized countries will have to allocate 100 billion dollars annually from 2020 for climate protection and adaptation in poorer states put.

See also

Web links

Commons : 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

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