Mixed reactions to the climate summit

Ola Elvestuen,Katowice, Polen 20181211. Ola Elvestuen, Minister for Climate and Environment in Norway, recorded at the opening of the Talanoa Dialogue at the World Climate Summit. The UN climate summit on climate change will take place from 03-14 December 2018 in the southern Polish city of Katowice. Foto: Monika Skolimowska/dpa / NTB scanpix

Mixed reactions from the environmental movement after climate change summit

Norwegian environmental organizations were pleased to reach agreement at the climate summit in Poland on Saturday night but were disappointed that promises concerning climate change were not concluded.


“The meeting has been characterised by lack of leadership and lack of realism about the science behind the UN report on the consequences of 1.5-degree warming being recognised or not, and we didn’t have time to do that,” said professional consultant, Esben Marcussen, of Greenpeace Norway.

Marcussen called the meeting “very disappointing”, although it is good that the parties have now agreed on a rulebook to ensure that the Paris agreement is translated into action.

He said it is disturbing that Katowice’s meeting was terminated without promising the necessary emission cuts.

More than one day into overtime, almost 200 countries agreed to deliver their final climate plans under the Paris agreement by 2020. Over 40 countries promised to increase their ambitions, including Norway.


Leader, Gaute Eiterjord, of Nature and Youth, said he isn’t pleased with the deal’s major shortcomings when it comes to how countries will reach climate goals and ensure fair burden sharing.

“It’s crazily provocative that even with a shock report showing how dangerous the climate crisis is, the countries have not made concrete promises about what to do to boost their efforts,” said Eiterjord.

He said it will not work to set high goals without measures to reach them.

“Right now the world is heading towards climate disaster, so we do not need more talk, but action,” said Eiterjord.


Bellona’s leader, Frederic Hauge, said the climate agreement is very pleasing and said
it will create momentum in climate work.

“Having a common system for all countries is an important victory. It will be crucial that rich countries such as Norway follow up, both in terms of financing and implementation of their own national greenhouse gas cuts.

Head of Policy of the Rainforest Foundation, Anders Haug Larsen, said there was no consensus that rainforest’s contribution should be made visible in the countries’ climate plans, which makes it difficult to assess the efforts of ambitious rainforest countries.

“Unfortunately, we did not receive any relief from the climate negotiations,” said Haug Larsen.

The rule of law that is now agreed is very technical. The aim of the regulatory framework is to create solid guidelines for how countries should report their greenhouse gas emissions and the measures taken to mitigate them.


Climate and Environment Minister, Ola Elvestuen of Venstre (V), is pleased with the agreement that was signed and called it “absolutely necessary”.

“It has been difficult to find a balance between the countries. But it has been worked at intensively, also from Norway, both to ensure that the agreement has the necessary quality, but also to find solutions between the countries,” he said.

One of the disagreements in the last negotiations was developing countries that were pushing for stricter rules for industrialised countries than for developing countries. The unanimity by the end was that the rules are the same, but that the requirements may vary for the country’s prerequisites.

see also:

Absolutely necessary agreement in Katowice


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