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Federal Minister Köstinger: “Consensus in Katowice is a key step towards implementing the Paris Agreement”

Met dank overgenomen van Oostenrijks voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2018 (Oostenrijks Voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op maandag 17 december 2018, 15:00.

196 contracting states agree on single rulebook implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.

After almost two weeks, several nights of negotiations and a one-day extension, the 196 contracting states at the UN Climate Conference in Katowice finally reached a consensus regarding a single rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. “A lot of hard work went into this agreement, making it all the more significant,” said Austria’s Federal Minister for Sustainability, Elisabeth Köstinger, who was the chief negotiator for the EU states along with EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

“For the first time, we now have a binding set of rules determining how the countries of the world will implement the resolutions and goals of the Paris Agreement, recording these developments in a transparent, verifiable way",

said Köstinger.

The UN Climate Conference was originally scheduled to end on the evening of 14 December. “We needed the extension in order to reach a conclusion”, said Köstinger, who participated in the negotiations for almost a whole week.

“The EU countries play a leading role in global climate protection, it was however important not to outpace those countries of the international community but to keep them on board. We managed to achieve this through a series of tough negotiations; this is a major success of the conference and an important boost for global climate protection.”

Although Europe produces only 10 percent of the emissions, it finances 40 percent of international climate protection. “This means that we take our role very seriously and try to help less developed states in this regard”, said Köstinger.

During the conference, Austria had also joined the “High Ambition Coalition”, a group of particularly committed states. “This ambitious coalition for climate protection certainly gave the conference an important boost at a moment when everything was hanging in the balance,” said Köstinger. Europe will continue to play its leading role in climate protection.

“Today’s agreement and the final document drawn up in Katowice are proof that the international community is willing and able to act and to jointly push ahead with climate protection”,

says Köstinger.

The adoption of the final statement at the climate conference required the approval from all countries without exception; the consensus principle applies and a single dissenting vote would have shattered the agreement on the “rulebook”.

Köstinger specially thanked her negotiating partner, EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, as well as the Polish COP Presidency led by Michal Kutyrka, who received a standing ovation upon the acceptance of the rulebook:

“These two extremely demanding weeks required a great deal of strength and energy from all those involved, so I am all the more delighted with the positive conclusion.”

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