The so-called “Katowice Climate Package” though far from perfect or complete, came through in the final hours of COP24, demonstrating that the Paris Agreement persists. While some had hoped for heightened ambition through a continuation of the Talanoa Dialogue or a decision text encouraging countries to enhance their NDCs by 2020, the COP24 decision simply “takes note” of the Dialogue and invites parties to consider Dialogue outcomes in preparing NDCs (IISD).
In this context, Prime Minister of Fiji and President of COP23, H.E. Frank Bainimarama noted, “The Talanoa Dialogue now must give way to the Talanoa Call to Action. Together, we must recognize the gravity of the challenge weface –the need to increase our collective NDCs fivefold –five times more ambition, five times more action –if we are to achieve the 1.5DS target.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres returned to Katowice late during COP24 to interject energy into flagging proceedings; noted Guterres after the final COP24 decision, “the priorities now are ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition, and ambition” (IISD).
COP25 will take place in Chile in November 2019, following Brazil’s reversal of its initial plans to host the conference. The next COP, in concert with a preparatory session hosted by Costa Rica, is expected to tackle unresolved issues and will surely hold implications for low carbon transport in a region that is highly urbanised, has a high bus public transport mode share, and has a high share of renewables in its energy mix. 2019 holds other important climate action milestones. For example, The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2019, will focus on demonstrating transformative action in the real economy to support Paris Agreement goals. The SLoCaT Partnership Secretariat looks forward to supporting and facilitating engagement of its members and the wider transport community in these 2019 milestones in collaboration with key partners.
The transport community must similarly continue the trajectory of raising ambition on sustainable low carbon mobility and providing continued guidance for translating ambition into accelerated action through tested sustainable mobility solutions across the Global North and South. Noted Prime Minister Bainimarama,“together, we can overcome the greatest threat humanity has ever faced –with the entire global community emerging more prosperous and more resilient.” In the coming year, the PPMC, in concert with the global transport community, will continue its efforts to facilitate action on sustainable, low carbon transport to help realise this bold and crucial vision.