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On December 2, 2018, delegates from almost 200 nations convened in Katowice, Poland for the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP24, also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Katowice, Poland, 2018, is the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and the third part of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. The conference is scheduled last two weeks, ending on December 14, 2018.

The COP24 is the highly anticipated follow up to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Paris Agreement, which entered into force in November of 2016, is an agreement between the parties to the UNFCCC to combat climate change. Specifically, the Paris Agreement includes a commitment to keep the global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius this century. The Paris Agreement also requires parties to the agreement to establish Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and to report regularly on their emissions and implementation efforts. Canada ratified the Agreement in October of 2016 and its NDC submission to the UNFCCC includes a commitment to achieve economy-wide GHG emission reductions of 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The COP24 is expected to include negotiations regarding detailed guidelines for how the Paris Agreement is to be implemented. So far, the conference has included high level talks and workshops on topics ranging from mitigation technology to human rights and inequities. The outcomes of any negotiations on a Paris Agreement “rulebook” remain to be seen.

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