Still on track? The UN Climate Conference has to prove that the Paris Agreement is working

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Five years after the Paris Climate Agreement entered into force and one year after the COVID-enforced hiatus, the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (“COP26”) will convene in the Scottish city of Glasgow on 31 October. At long last! Amongst its most important tasks will be advancing the implementation of the Paris Agreement by resolving the remaining issues surrounding its rules for implementation.

The COVID-19 pandemic invariably protracted international negotiations. Even before the pandemic, however, there had been no time to lose. The valiant makeshift attempts made to keep the multilateral climate process on track through virtual forums and digital formats have shown that the annual COP gatherings are perhaps not so dispensable as the critics and downright opponents of multilateralism would have us believe.

Of course, the processes of international climate policy are laborious and cumbersome. And their institutional complexity is virtually impenetrable. Nevertheless, it is precisely these regular, multilateral negotiations that lay the political and institutional foundations for forward-looking and practicable international cooperation. Nowhere is this more urgently required than in view of the global climate crisis – not least on account of the pervasive importance of international climate politics for global justice and sustainable development. When the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC finally reconvene in Glasgow, they will have the opportunity and the responsibility to demonstrate exactly that.


Read the full blog here.

This publication first appeared on the DIE site. 

Authors: Steffen Bauer, (DIE).

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

The views are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ETTG.

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