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Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger in Katowice: “We are here to flesh out the Paris Agreement with rules”

Published 10 Dec 16:26

Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger and EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete represent EU member states at the world’s biggest climate conference in Poland – “We still have a long way to go”

One week ago, expert‑level negotiations on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement started in Katowice, Poland. Since Monday 10 December political decision makers from the international community have also been involved. Under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger and EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete are representing the EU member states at these negotiations.

“We are here today to formulate concrete rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement”,

Elisabeth Köstinger said on Monday 10 December at a joint press conference with Commissioner Arias Cañete.

“We need a work programme and a rulebook for the Paris Agreement that all states need to agree on in the end”,

said Federal Minister Köstinger. The minister added that the principle of consensus makes this a complex and difficult task, as none of the 196 contracting parties may vote against it.

Köstinger explained that the latest IPCC report had shown without a doubt that the international community must take urgent action if climate change was to be stopped. The planned rulebook is meant to lay down how tthe contracting parties’ contributions and goals can be compared through a standardised procedure. In addition, technical negotiations on reporting systems are being held in Katowice.

“In the first week the experts made important progress”, Köstinger said. “Nevertheless, what will be decisive is our political progress during the second week. And we still have a long way to go.”

Therefore, Elisabeth Köstinger also appealed to all 196 participating countries:

“All sides will need to show great flexibility in their positions in order to reach a joint result.”

To be successful, the final text cannot be vetoed by a single participating state.

EU chief negotiator Köstinger said that there is no doubt about the ambitions of the European states:

“Europe is a forerunner in the resolute efforts to stem climate change. But we also need all other states of the international community if we want to stop global warming.”

More information about the event COP24 can be found here:

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Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism
Daniel Kosak
Spokesperson for the Federal Minister
+43 1 71100 606918