My first Climate Change Talks experience was COP21. In the delegates area they were negotiating the historic agreement to limit Greenhouse emissions to 2 degrees above global norms and hopefully 1.5 degrees. I was outside the delegate area in Paris speaking in a room somewhere to probably less than a dozen people. As part of my talk to the folks there I reflected on the fact that UK Local Authorities had received no communications from central Government about helping them reduce emissions to achieve the Paris Climate Goals. Sadly 3 years later this is still the case.This got me thinking, especially when it became clear that the carbon savings identified by national Governments, the 'Nationally Determined Contributions' were not going to be enough to limit emissions to the targets agreed at COP21 in Paris. So why not empower Regional and Local Authorities to play their part in achieving the Paris Climate goals? Why not encourage them to produce their own action plans to reduce emissions? So the concept of Locally Determined Contributions was born. This lead to it being referenced in 3 opinions (policy statements) of the EU Committee of the Regions and also 1 in the European Parliament.
Last year at COP23 in Bonn an agreement to develop Locally Determined Contributions was agreed at the Global Local and Regional Leaders summit. This was not the same as the UNFCCC agreeing it but was without doubt a significant moment and gave LDCs a global stage.
At COP24 in Katovice, for me, it is an opportunity to make a real difference. It is the Climate Summit that agrees the Rulebook for achieving the Paris Climate Goals. How we will actually do it. I am part of the EU Delegation and so Brexit means it could be my last chance to influence global climate change agreements. So its a big deal. There are loads of positives. The European Parliament have referenced and backed Locally Determined Contributions in their position statement going into COP24. In addition the statement from 'Non State Actors' the global groups representing Local Government, Trade Unions, Agriculture and other organisations have also backed LDCs. I am receiving great support from talented and committed staff at the EU Committee of the Regions and from global bodies such as Climate Alliance and ICLEI. All things seem possible at the moment. My diary is filling up for the week and I feel hopeful.
The ambition/hope is that Locally Determined Contributions fill the gap in emissions savings that we need to make to prevent runaway climate change. That 'Think Global Act Local' becomes a tangible reality fostering an enthusiastic international movement focused on creating not just a stable environment but a sustainable better world.
So wish me well. I have a sense of mission and an understanding that this could be a key moment. Like the emissions contributions I mean to achieve I remain determined. My clock is ticking and I have to make the most of every moment in the next few weeks. Here we go!
Here is 'Determined' by Andrison