The Paris Rulebook is a set of rules that aims to enable the Paris Agreementfrom 2015. The latter is an agreement among the UNFCCCnations to make a collective response to climate change. As well known, the goal is to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. Hence, the nations needed common guidelines. Therefore, they decided to discuss a set of rules three years later, creating the Paris Rulebook in 2018.
The Paris Rulebook (also known as Katowice Climate Package) was agreed on at COP24 in 2018 in Katowice, Poland. However, a few unresolved issues remained. Therefore, the set of rules got completed at COP26 in 2021.
The Paris Rulebook from 2018
For the world to reach the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, actions need to improve over time. Therefore, the countries created an improvement cycle. The main parts of this cycle are:
First, nations plan and report on their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The NDCs are yearly reports stating action plans on how to work with climate change. Then, each country puts their plans into action (implement). Finally, the nations review their individual and collective progress. The review eventually informs future planning and upcoming NDCs. Hence, creating a cycle of improvement.
The improvement cycle works as a base for countries to make the Paris Agreement a reality. The rulebook is considered a detailed guide on how to work with the plan-implement-review cycle.
Furthermore, the nations decided to take a “global stocktake” every five years. The stocktake assesses the collective efforts of all countries. The purpose is to enable consistent improvement with time.
However, some sections remained unsolved at COP24. One was the guidelines for carbon markets.
Agreeing on the Paris Rulebook at COP26
Before COP26, the goals for the meeting regarding the Paris Rulebook were to
1. Find an agreement on the guidelines for carbon markets
2. Resolve issues with transparency (regarding the commitments that countries make)
3. Agree on a commitment that drives the ambition of governments to keep the 1.5-degree target alive
These issues were resolved at COP26, finalizing the Paris Rulebook.