4 Great Pieces of News That Came Out of COP24

Representatives from almost 200 countries adopted a set of guidelines to adopt the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels.


Campus of Conference of the Parties COP24 in Katowice, Poland, December 7, 2018

(Bernadetta Sarat / Shutterstock.com)

Over the past two weeks, thousands of delegates, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and citizens came together at the 24th Conference of the Parties (commonly referred to as COP24) held in Katowice, Poland. The official goal of the international UN conference was to reach an agreement regarding the Paris Rulebook, which nations began drafting in 2015. Hundreds of plenary and side events brought decision-makers, professionals, and citizens together to discuss practical ways countries can both mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Check out our list of exciting outcomes and events that came out of COP24! 

1. Nearly 200 countries, including the US, agreed to adopt the Paris Rulebook

The Paris Rulebook details the ways in which countries will mitigate and adapt to climate change. Some of the highlights of the rulebook include uniform standards for tracking and evaluating policies and emissions, clearer steps that rich countries will take to support poorer nations, and methods to assist countries that are struggling to meet their goals.

March for Climate during the Conference of the Parties COP24

(Bernadetta Sarat / Shutterstock.com)

2. Activists Came Together for Change

Across the street from the official COP24 grounds, Greenpeace’s Action Hub hosted both official delegates and civil society activists to discuss and act on climate mitigation and adaptation in a wider, more inclusive, and more outspoken way. Individuals and organizations came together from all over the globe to form a community of activists, supporting and strengthening one another. During COP, on average, there were about six demonstrations a day, culminating in a final and dramatic protest on Friday, December 14, that demanded nations commit to concrete steps and ambitious action items, such as going fossil fuel free. Activists made it loud and clear that tackling climate change is about getting out, demanding change, and creating a future that we’re proud of.

3. The Youth Spoke Out!

Young people from around the world protested on Tuesday, December 4th, as delegates were just beginning to enter COP24. "We remember, we resist, we rise,” they said as they delivered the People’s Demands for Climate Justice. One activist in particular, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year old from Sweden, stood out, as she spoke boldly to delegates at the opening UN Plenary Assembly.

"We have not come here to beg the world leaders to care for our future," she said. "They have ignored us in the past and they will ignore us again. We have come here to let them know that change is coming whether they like it or not. The people will rise to the challenge."

4. African Nations Join Together to Outline Ambitious Goals and Financing

  1. Out of 54 African countries, 49 have signed and ratified their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) which are a list of ambitious goals to build resilient communities and a decarbonized economy. The African Development Bank Group, which recently mobilized $8.8 billion has also established a hub to help nations meet those goals through:
    1. Fostering long-term climate action
    2. Mobilizing means for implementation and
    3. Coordination, advocacy, and partnership-development.

Mitigating climate change involves international commitment, financing, leadership, and action. While COP24 disappointed some who hoped for more ambitious and pronounced measures, overall, the decisions made in Katowice earlier this month enable the world to get back on track to limiting warming and setting clearer goals for how they will do.