Current Affairs Over 196 countries finally agree on a 'Rulebook' to...

Over 196 countries finally agree on a ‘Rulebook’ to address climate change at CoP24, Poland



The adverse impact of climate change created by man is same irrespective of developed or developing country

The 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Katowice, Poland. This is the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

(Conference of the Parties (CoP) refers to the Parties to the UNFCCC. The UNFCCC was signed in Rio Summit in 1992 by 150 countries.)

What is Climate Change?

You must have heard your parents or grandparents say – weather was so beautiful before. It is so unpredictable and extreme now…Every year the weather is not the same. That is climate change. Climate change refers to an increase in average global temperatures. Human activities is contributing to an increase in the global temperatures. This is primarily caused by increase in greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

What happened at the COP24?

The two-week conference held from Dec 2nd to December 15, finally ended with 196 countries agreeing upon the rules to implement Paris Agreement.

These rules will act as a guide for the nations to act upon from 2020. According to the new rules, every country should submit a report regarding actions taken to cut carbon emissions.

Since the formation of UNFCCC at Rio Summit/Earth Summit in 1992, nations have been meeting annually to discuss and assess the progress made to deal with climate change.

Significant landmarks:

1997 CoP3, Kyoto Protocol: In 1997 CoP3 took place in Kyoto, Japan. The outcome of the summit was a Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol was a legally binding agreement which outlined the Green House gas emissions reduction for developed countries. It also suggested the mechanisms for the same that is emissions trading, clean development mechanism(CDM) and joint implementation.

2005 CoP11, Montreal, Canada: The Kyoto Protocol came into force on 16th February 2005. The Montreal Action Plan called for the extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond its expiration date 2012.

2010 CoP16, Cancun, Mexico: The Cancun agreement limited global warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels was the de-facto target for global policymakers.

 2012 CoP18 Doha, Qatar: Extended the Kyoto Protocol commitment period from 2012 to 2020. Canada denounced the Kyoto Protocol and USA did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

2015 CoP21, Paris, France: After 21 years of negotiation, 196 parties to the convention adopted legally binding Paris Agreement

The agreement sets out three purposes: a) holding the increase in global average temperatures to “well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels”, b) increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and c) making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions.

 2018 CoP24, Katowice, Poland: After years of negotiations the ‘Rulebook’ on implementation of Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 participating nations. The rulebook provides rules and regulations that will govern how the countries cut carbon, provide financial support to the developing and underdeveloped nations and ensure that everyone is doing what they say they are doing.

Yes, 200 nations had differences, different development goals, but it’s a global issue and everyone have to work together to combat climate change. The adverse impact of climate change created by man is same irrespective of developed or developing country. That is the most pressing global issue now, which cannot be ignored at all. The effects of climate change is being witnessed by many countries already. Especially developing countries are in catch 22 situation. Is there a need to prioritise climate change over a country’s developmental goals. Development at the cost of natural calamities?

What is…?

Adverse: Harmful; unfavourable

Greenhouse Gas: A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs and re-emits radiation in the atmosphere . The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature of Earth’s surface would be about −18 °C (0 °F), rather than the present average of 15 °C (59 °F)

Global warming: Warming up of the earth atmosphere due to human activities. The more the greenhouse gases, the more it absorbs and re-emit radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere leading it to a warmer Earth. This warming of the planet leads to drastic climate changes which we are witnessing now.

Consistent: Acting or done in the same way over time

Negotiation: Discussion aimed at reaching an agreement

Things to do:

Make Earth liveable for yourself!

  • Identify a park near your place. Take permission and plant a tree
  • Create awareness among your family, friends near your house and at school
News4children, a news portal on current affairs tapered especially for children with academic input. Every article is written in simple language with full background information, so children can understand the news better. Most of the articles include academic input, activities and vocabulary as well.


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