BANGKOK, Thailand, September 4, 2018 (ENS) – As severe and record heatwaves, bushfires, droughts, floods and hurricanes rampage across the world, governments are meeting in Bangkok to prepare the implementation guidelines of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

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UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Sept. 4, 2018 (Photo courtesy Earth Negotiations Bulletin)

The guidelines are needed to make the Paris Agreement work fairly and transparently for all.

Following a two-year negotiation process, the implementation guidelines are set to be adopted at the annual United Nations climate conference, COP24, to be held in Katowice, Poland in December.

While the talks have made modest progress, the Bangkok meeting, which continues through Sunday, is the last chance before COP24 to accelerate negotiations.

“Building on progress made, countries now need to take a decisive step forward in preparing the ambitious and balanced outcome that we need in Katowice,” Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of UN Climate Change, said at a press conference on Monday.

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Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, speaks at the Bangkok climate talks, Sept. 4, 2018 (Photo courtesy Earth Negotiations Bulletin)

Reaching success at COP24 will be challenging enough without the preparation of an official negotiating text on the implementation guidelines.

“It will be critical for negotiators in Bangkok to produce solid text-based output that can function as the basis for the concluding negotiations in Katowice and be turned into the final implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement at COP24. The texts capturing progress to date are not yet refined enough for this purpose,” Espinosa said.

“With only six additional days for negotiations in Bangkok, UN Climate Change is carefully coordinating demands to fully support countries in their important task,” she said.

Technical in nature, the implementation guidelines are needed to monitor progress on climate action, including measures to deal with climate impacts such as droughts or floods and support to enable developing countries to contribute to climate action.

They are also essential for determining whether emissions are being reduced at an ambitious rate to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2°C, and as close to 1.5 °C as possible this century.

The guidelines are also needed to make the agreement’s institutions fully operational beyond COP24.

“Every year, the impacts of climate change are getting worse. This means that every year, the poorest and most vulnerable, who have contributed almost nothing to the problem, suffer more,” Espinosa emphasized.

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Delegates are meeting in informal groups to hammer out issues that remain before COP 24 in Poland in December (Photo courtesy Earth Negotiations Bulletin)

“Completing the operational aspects of the Paris Agreement and unlocking practical climate actions by putting in place the implementation guidelines represents a key opportunity for the multilateral process and society at large to address a global problem, while leaving nobody behind,” she explained.

A host of upcoming events in the period before COP24 are a clear indication that not only many economic actors, but also civil society, cities and regions are seeking to accelerate climate action.

The 2018 Climate Weeks in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in mid-September and Climate Week in New York towards the end of September are all events that rally both governments and other stakeholders around dealing with climate change.

More and more of these actors are aligning their strategic visions with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Governments clearly lead the climate change process. But they alone can’t rise to the challenge and need the support of all these actors,” said Espinosa. “This is slowly leading to a new, more inclusive multilateralism to deal with climate change, which is increasingly becoming evident.”

“These events clearly demonstrate global momentum,” Espinosa said. “They show that the world is ready to implement the Paris Agreement in the way world leaders envisaged in Paris in 2015.”

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