COP23: latest round of global climate negotiations close in Bonn
COP23, the second “conference of the parties” since the Paris Agreement, took place in Bonn Germany from 6 – 16 November. Climate change was placed at the centre of global diplomacy as delegates gathered in the wake of the US decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, while parties such as China strengthen their role in climate negotiations. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said of the conference: “Support for the Paris Agreement is strong and that the journey upon which the world has embarked is an unstoppable movement supported by all sectors of society, across all parts of the globe”.
The launch of the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” featured prominently at the COP. The alliance, which aims to phase-out coal, was joined by more than 20 countries and other sub-national actors and is expected to number more than 50 members by next year. In its declaration the Alliance notes that to successfully implement the Paris agreement the “coal phase-out is needed no later than by 2030 in the OECD and EU28, and no later than by 2050 in the rest of the world”. For some countries, higher ambition is already being locked in. A special scientific report, produced for the conference by Future Earth and the Earth League, says renewable energy expansion around the globe is doubling around every 5.5 years--consistent with the complete de-carbonization of the energy sector by mid-century.
The ‘Talanoa Dialogue’, inspired by the Pacific concept of constructive discussion, will set the stage for the upward revision of national climate action plans. Enhanced ambition – a term heard a lot at COPs – was seen as an important precursor of the Paris Agreement’s longer-term “ratchet mechanism”, which aims to increase ambition on a five-year incremental cycle. However, two main concerns remain: first, developed countries had not yet delivered the promised $100bn per year in climate finance by 2020 agreed in 2009 at Copenhagen; second, the Doha Amendment, a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol for the years leading up to 2020, has not been ratified by enough countries to bring it into force.
The Paris ‘rulebook’ : developing the technical rules and processes needed to fulfill the Paris Agreement’s ambition. The goal of discussions, overseen by the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement, was to create draft guidelines, which will collectively allow for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and the monitoring of compliance by all concerned parties. Options were outlined as clearly as possible to show what still needs resolving, with the final COP23 text recognizing that an additional negotiating session may still be needed to ensure the Paris rulebook is finished on time for the COP24, to be held in December 2018.
Read more on selected topics featured at the COP: Adaptation Fund | Agriculture | Gender Action Plan | Local Communities and Indigenous People’s Platform | Loss and damage | Long-term Finance | Ocean Pathway Partnership | InsuResilience Initiative | NDC Support Programme to assist countries deliver on the Paris Agreement | International Energy Agency” Clean Energy Transitions Programme" | Clearing House for Risk Transfer | Powering Past Coal Alliance | Bonn-Fiji Commitment ! The Green Climate Fund ! The European Investment Bank !
Selected topics on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region : Public – private partnerships for climate action in the Mediterranean region | Supporting access to funds for climate action in the South Mediterranean | ICARDA agricultural research | CIHEAM agricultural solutions | UFM climate finance assessment