Final day of COP24 leaves more questions than answers

After a mentally intense but very rewarding week, our COP24 delegation had arrived at its last day. With negotiators working well into the early hours of each morning the first draft of the ‘Katowice texts’ was released overnight, leaving many government and non-government stakeholders scrutinising what had been stated and for the most part disappointed in what was put forward.

In an attempt to get a detailed and abridged version of the 137 page document, the first item on the Global Voices delegation’s agenda was to attend the daily ‘Climate Tracker’ meeting. Climate Tracker is a not-for-profit organisation launched by former Global Voices delegate, Chris Wright, which summarises the key events of the previous day, over the two weeks of COP. The overall tone of the meeting was exasperation, with both the audience and panel sharing their mutual frustration in the weakness of the ambition of and the wording incorporated into the text.

The looming end of COP24 created a sense of urgency and uncertainty on the ground. Our delegation was lucky enough to meet with John Connor (Executive Director of COP23 Presidency Secretariat) who spoke about the importance of the Talanoa Dialogue. John outlined the key role the Pacific Islands have been playing in the progress of COP discussions at previous meetings and outlined how this had continued in Poland.

COP24 began to wind down for the non-government stakeholders in attendance, as the time to finalise and agree on the Paris rulebook before the end of the week meant a large majority of meetings were ‘closed’, with seats only available to Government stakeholders. We ended the day at the local Katowice Christmas Market with a reflective discussion about the overwhelmingly positive experience we had all shared.

 By: Joseph Pegler, University of Newcastle Scholar