You are here

As the world continues to feel the impacts of climate change in the form of heat waves, sea level rise, and extreme weather, the need for international action becomes increasingly clear. Under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries across the globe committed to create a new international climate agreement by 2015. Achieving an innovative, ambitious 2015 agreement will catalyze climate action in both developed and developing countries and help drive a transformation towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

The UNFCCC will hold its 19th annual Conference of the Parties (COP 19) from 11-22 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. Policymakers will have to make critical decisions at this climate summit, as well as set the timelines and milestones for reaching a new agreement by COP 21 in 2015.

WRI’s team of climate policy experts will provide research, commentary, and analysis before, during, and following the COP 19 negotiations. We aim to provide information and other resources to help decision-makers move forward on key issues, including:

  • Designing an international climate agreement that is both ambitious and equitable;

  • Designing an effective and timely process for countries to put forward their “national offers” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions;

  • Developing a robust measurement, reporting, and verification framework and strong accounting rules to ensure that the international climate agreement is effectively tracked and evaluated;

  • Ensuring provision of sufficient support—including finance, technology, and capacity-building—to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate change; and

  • Developing a holistic approach to adapt to climate change and address the loss and damage caused by its impacts.

Check this page regularly to access our latest publications, blog posts, events, and other resources related to COP 19.

For media inquiries, please contact Michael Oko.

Publications & Resources

New Global Campaign Aims to Deliver Sustainable Transport to World's Cities

Two weeks ago, EMBARQ, the sustainable transport and urban development program of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Bank co-hosted Transforming Transportation. The two-day event concluded with the announcement of Transport Delivers, a global campaign calling city and national leaders to better integrate sustainable transport into policy discussions on development and climate change. If the campaign’s objectives are fully implemented, they could be a game-changer for today’s cities – as well as tomorrow’s.

COP 19 Made Small Steps Forward, but We Need Bolder Leaps

This year’s climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland (COP 19) were a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the summit’s outcomes were dramatically out of step with the level of action needed to solve the climate change problem. A tempting metaphor for the talks was the national stadium in which they were held– one could go around in endless circles in search of the right location.

On the other hand, the Warsaw COP did achieve the incremental outcomes needed to move the process forward. Negotiators put in place a work plan for securing an international climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris in 2015. The COP also made progress on scaling up climate finance and addressing the difficult issue of loss and damage, a process for addressing climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to. These are small but important steps toward bringing countries out of their repetitive, circular discussions and closer to agreeing collectively on how to address global climate change.

After two weeks of discussions, the climate negotiations wrapped up in Warsaw, Poland. COP 19 opened just as Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, and the outcome was not decided until the final moments.

Following is a statement by Jennifer Morgan, Director, Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute:

“In the nick of time, negotiators in Warsaw delivered just enough to keep things moving. The talks opened with a tragic reminder of what is at stake, but there were few signs of urgency within the negotiating rooms.

Business and Government Must Come Together for Strong Climate Action

It’s time for businesses and governments to step up to the climate challenge and match words to actions.

This week at the annual international climate talks in Warsaw, companies, policymakers, and civil society participated in an event to deepen business engagement on climate policy. Such interaction could not have come at a more critical time.

Global emissions are on the rise. And last year, climate and extreme weather events alone cost $200 billion.

The world clearly needs to accelerate its response to the climate challenge. Businesses and governments need to work together constructively to raise the level of action and ambition. That means policymakers step up to provide a strong market signal and support, while companies come to the table with clear, public, constructive input.

King Coal’s Climate Challenge

Coal is emerging as a major topic of conversation at the United Nations climate-change negotiations currently taking place in Warsaw – and rightly so. Indeed, it is a discussion that the world needs to have.

The latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conclude that we are quickly using up our carbon “budget” – the amount of carbon that we can afford to emit while still having a good chance of limiting global warming to 2º Celsius. According to the IPCC, keeping the global temperature increase from pre-industrial levels below this threshold – the recognized tipping point beyond which climate change is likely to get seriously out of control – requires that the world emit only about 1,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC). More than half of this amount was already emitted by 2011. Unless we shift away from carbon-intensive behavior, the remaining budget will run out in roughly three decades.

4 Issues to Watch as COP 19 Wraps Up

As the UN climate meetings (COP 19) in Warsaw, Poland get down to serious business in their second week, the world beyond the negotiations looms large – both with challenges and with promise. It’s an important reminder of the stakes inside the negotiating venue.

Inside the negotiating rooms, things kicked into a higher gear yesterday. The co-chairs put forward a negotiating text laying out the key issues for establishing a new climate action agreement in 2015 (under the Durban Platform). Over the next several days, negotiators will grapple with four key issues.

Unabated Coal Use Will Break World’s “Carbon Budget”

While many people are traveling to Warsaw this week to participate in the international climate negotiations (COP 19), the city is also hosting another global conference: the International Coal and Climate Summit. It’s a troubling juxtaposition—coal contributes to 43 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it a major driver of climate change. In fact, a new statement released by leading scientists suggests that nearly three-quarters of fossil fuel reserves—especially coal—must remain unused if the world is to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. In other words, limiting sea level rise, extreme weather events, heat waves, and other climate impacts requires staying within world’s “carbon budget”—which doesn’t include unabated coal use.

Is Adaptation Short-Changed? The Imbalance in Climate Finance Commitments

One of the biggest successes from 2009’s COP 15 conference was securing funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. Donor nations agreed to “provide new and additional resources […] approaching $30 billion for the period 2010–2012, with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation.” They also committed to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020.  

But the agreement left a key question unresolved: how should funding be “balanced” between adaptation and mitigation? Should the funding balance be 50/50 between adaptation and mitigation or should it based on each country’s needs? Should funding include both private and public sector investment? These are some of the questions that negotiators will need to address during COP 19 in Warsaw.

But whatever they decide as being a “balanced commitment,” one thing is clear: finance for adaptation needs to increase in the coming years.

Within Reach

Strengthening Country Ownership and Accountability in Accessing Climate Finance

This working paper explores the concepts of ownership and accountability in climate finance in detail, and draws on experiences from development effectiveness and more recent experience of...

Pages

Stay Connected