The Paris Agreement Rulebook: What to Expect at COP26

In December 2015, world leaders came together in Paris to commit to tackling the global threat of climate change. The Paris Agreement was historic in its ambition, aiming to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. The Agreement also included a commitment to provide financial support for developing countries to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

However, the Paris Agreement was only the beginning. To achieve its goals, implementation details need to be agreed upon and put into practice. This is where the Paris Agreement Rulebook comes in. It is a set of guidelines on how countries will measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions, as well as how they will provide transparency and accountability in their efforts to reduce emissions.

The Paris Agreement Rulebook was supposed to be finalized at COP24, the UN climate conference held in Katowice, Poland, in 2018. Unfortunately, negotiations were contentious and could not be resolved, leading to a delay in finalizing the Rulebook.

Now, at COP26, the global community will try again to finalize the Paris Agreement Rulebook. The goal is to agree on the details of each country`s climate commitments, including:

1. Transparency and Reporting: Countries must regularly report their emissions and climate-related policies and measures. The Rulebook will define how these reports will be compiled and what information will be included.

2. Mitigation: The Paris Agreement requires countries to submit Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) outlining their climate targets and policies. The Rulebook will provide guidance on how these NDCs should be prepared and reviewed.

3. Adaptation: The Rulebook will help countries develop plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change, especially in vulnerable communities.

4. Climate Finance: The Paris Agreement requires developed countries to provide financial support to developing countries to help them transition to low-carbon economies and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Rulebook will provide guidance on how this support should be provided and accounted for.

As with most global negotiations, progress on the Paris Agreement Rulebook may be slow and contentious. However, the world`s governments are now more aware than ever of the urgency of the climate crisis. COP26 provides a critical opportunity to make progress on the details of the Paris Agreement, and to ensure that countries are taking the necessary steps to limit global temperature rise and protect our planet. Let us hope that this time around, the Paris Agreement Rulebook is finalized and implemented successfully.