COP24: Can leaders agree to climate rules in time?

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at the opening of the COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland, on December 03.

(CNN)This week, governments have gathered in Katowice, Poland, for COP24 -- the annual UN climate change conference.

It's been dubbed "Paris 2.0" and "the most important COP since the Paris Agreement," and many believe that what happens there over the remaining week is crucial to the fight against climate change.

What is the Paris Agreement?

    In 2015, COP21 led to the landmark Paris Agreement, where almost 200 countries committed to keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and, if possible, below 1.5 degrees.
    The Paris Agreement is due to come into effect in 2020, and this year's COP (Conference of Parties) has the crucial task of getting countries to adopt a "Work Program" or "Rulebook" with the details needed to implement the Paris commitments.
    2018 is the deadline for the rulebook to be adopted. Any delay could slow down the implementation of the Agreement.

    What's at stake?

    In October, a report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.
    Dramatic reductions in global carbon emissions would be needed to avoid that.

    What will be covered in the Paris Rulebook?

    Under the Paris Agreement, each country produces its own climate action pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Part of the Rulebook will involve finalizing details of how countries should format and report on their NDCs, so others can monitor their progress.
    Michał Kurtyka, President of COP and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment, told CNN. "The Paris work program will give us rules for the coming years for global climate policy: what nationally determined contributions mean, how countries contribute, how they're being accounted for, how they are implemented, and what information is shared."

    Other key negotiations

    Also up for discussion at COP24 is climate financing. In 2009, wealthy countries agreed to provide $100bn a year in climate finance to developing countries by 2020.
    "In 2025 the countries will set a new collective finance target," explains Steffen Kallbekken, research director at The Center for International Climate Research, based in Norway. "In Katowice this year they're discussing the process for negotiating and agreeing that target."
    Others hope to see countries at COP24 show they will adopt more ambitious climate pledges when NDCs are updated in 2020.
    "We need to see in the outcomes here that governments will commit to reviewing their targets," said Lou Leonard, WWF senior vice president for climate change and energy. "Then, they can spend the next year working within their national cont