What came out of these 2 weeks of intense negotiations?
Overall I must say that I am slightly disappointed by the progress that has been made during the conference. Yes, there are some encouraging results but especially on the technical side and the open questions that have kept the COPs busy for so many years — like Adaptation and Loss & Damage — there was a lot of debate and confusion but only little progress.
One of the success stories of this COP was certainly how countries have reacted to the US election early in week 1. While the Trump victory came as a surprise to many of us, it didn’t have the effect so many observers feared. Neither China nor other countries showed signs that they were planning to drop out of the effort. Quite the opposite seemed to be the case when, on the penultimate scheduled day, the conference adopted a call for nations to honour the promises made in Paris and to renew their attempts to avoid planetary disaster.
Another good news can be reported on the ratification effort of the Parties regarding the Paris Agreement. Over the course of the conference, 11 governments ratified the Paris climate agreement (Australia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Finland, Gambia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the UK), bringing the total to 111. Since the beginning of September, a staggering 88 nations have ratified the agreement — to become law, which it did in the week before the conference began, only 55 nations representing 55% of global emissions would have been necessary.