PIK on Climate Summit COP24 in Katowice

The UN climate summit COP24 in Katowice, Poland, closed; below PIK’s statement which I think is somewhat overoptimistic, remembering that the Paris agreement does not entail any compulsion toward change. COP24 President Michal Kurtyka’s celebration (cf. pix above) at the end of COP24  seems wildly out of proportion with what was actually achieved.

On this issue, Johan Rockström, resilience scientist who as Director Designate is leading the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research together with Ottmar Edenhofer:

“The Katowice agreement is a relief. Countries recognize the need for global collaboration to deal with the global climate crisis. The Paris Agreement is alive and kicking, despite a rise in populism and nationalism. With the rule book now finally adopted, the Paris agreement can be implemented. Overall the Katowice decisions provide enough momentum to move foreward. My biggest concern is that the UN Summit failed to align ambitions with science, in particular missing the necessity of making clear that global emissions from fossil fuels must be cut by half by 2030 to stay in line with the IPCC 1.5 C report.”

“This is a real concern. We continue to follow a path that will take us to a very dangerous 3-4 degrees warmer world within this century. Extreme weather events hit people all accross the planet already now, at only one degree global warming. Especially the US is a hard-hit victim, a nation that played an unfortunate role at the climate summit, which already suffers and will suffer even more in the future from an increase of regional droughts and hurricanes. “

“However, Katowice is only one step on the long and winding road to achieving sustainable prosperity within a fossil-fuel free future. All of us need to stop tip-toeing and speed up our steps. And Europe can and must be a forerunner.“

 Also on this issue, Ottmar Edenhofer, climate economist who as acting Director is leading the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research together with Johan Rockström; he’s also Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change:

“Once again, governments accross the world have proven that they’re capable and willing to cooperate in order to protect their citizens from climate risks. Despite a growing number of populist governments, multilateralism succeeded.
“However, the world needs more than climate policy targets and processes – it needs concrete measures, and they must be taken now.  In this respect, climate change can no longer be simply regarded as the biggest market failure of all time – with the continued rise of global greenhouse gas emissions after years of negotiation, it has also become an unprecedented government failure. Through appropriate policy measures – like effective CO2 pricing – governments have to build a new trust-relationship to citizens. Carbon pricing cannot solve everything, yet without it nothing can be solved. And governments can actually use carbon pricing to enhance social justice, because the generated income can and must be given back to the people, be it through electricity tax cuts, infrastructure investments, or christmas cheques.”

For further information please contact the PIK PR Office:
Jonas Viering, Mareike Schodder, Sarah Messina, Lisa Grimmeiß
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de
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