The drive to a conclusion

No Climate Conference in the last decade has finished on time, and the Conference here in Madrid is showing no signs of nearing completion tonight. The Chilean President has requested delegates to work through the night. Agreement on some issues has been reached, such as on capacity building, a gender programme, and on technology, but the bigger ticket items, including loss and damage are yet to be addressed.

Paris Agreement Anniversary

It was four years ago today that the Paris Agreement was adopted at COP21. The historic agreement, which charted a new and optimistic future for tackling climate change, was signed by most countries on 22 April 2016, and in record-breaking fashion, entered into effect on 4 November 2016. Today, it has 195 signatories and 187 parties.

And there was action

There was a lot happening today. There was Greta, a conversation between the United Nations Secretary-General and the International Space Station. There were protests. Chief...
100 years of multilateralism – looking back, looking ahead

100 years of multilateralism – looking back, looking ahead

Guest post submitted by: Michael Møller, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva. 100 years ago this year, the League of Nations was created in Geneva. The end of the First World War marked a watershed in many ways, and one of them was the bankruptcy of the...

Crunch time at COP24

Crunch time at COP24

It’s crunch time in Katowice, on what it supposed to be the last day of COP24, but the talks are heading for an all-nighter.  It is not unusual for climate conferences to run late—in fact, they all do. But it is always a question of how late.

Most vulnerable countries

Most vulnerable countries

Some of the world’s countries that are most vulnerable to climate change took center stage at COP24.  Led by the Marshall Islands, the Climate Vulnerable Forum countries issued a plea for accelerated action. “We are out of time,” said Marshall Island President Hilda Heine in a video. Rising sea levels, she said, threatened the country with extinction, yet that has not stopped the country from submitting a new nationally climate commitment.

The clock is ticking

The clock is ticking

Ratcheting up the pressure – Tension is rising at COP24 as the clock ticks down on the time available to complete the Paris Agreement Work Programme—which is supposed to guide countries as they implement the agreement.  UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the meeting that “it is a moment of truth” and that “Katowice must be the dawn of a new determination to unleash the promise of the Paris Agreement.” 

Mid-week, final week

Mid-week, final week

Significant progress in the negotiating texts has been achieved, but several political issues remain, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa told ministers and other high-level officials who have come Katowice to complete the negotiations on the guidelines for implementing the Paris Agreement.

At Conference Closing, Leaders Praise New Global Migration Compact

At Conference Closing, Leaders Praise New Global Migration Compact

The Global Compact For Migration conference wrapped up in Marrakech, Morocco on Tuesday, after 164 countries adopted the landmark pact to improve the lives of migrants around the world. "For the first time in the history of the UN we've been able to tackle an issue...

Historic Global Compact for Migration Adopted

Historic Global Compact for Migration Adopted

In Marrakech, Morocco on Monday, 164 countries adopted the historic Global Compact for Migration, a blueprint for helping the 258 million migrants worldwide achieve a life of safety and dignity. Speaking to world leaders, United Nations Secretary-General António...

Shaping the Outcome

Shaping the Outcome

Shaping the outcome – After a week of hyper-technical negotiations over the Paris Agreement Work Programme, the outcome of COP24—the guidelines that will determine how countries manage the process for implementing the Paris Agreement– now sits in the hands of ministers and high-level officials.