Environment & Biodiversity

Key Takeaways from the Bonn Climate Conference

  • The Bonn Climate Change Conference took place from June 5 to 15, 2023.
  • Building on the mandates established at COP 27 in Egypt last year, the conference held a large number of compulsory events and continued discussions on crucial problems.
  • It is expected to make progress on these and other critical issues, as well as prepare draught decisions for approval at the COP 28 / CMP 18 / CMA 5 meeting in the UAE in December 2023.

Discussion of key concepts

  • Some progress has been achieved in the global stocktake (GST) negotiations.
  • However, the problems of historical accountability and funding remained difficult, stifling climate action.

What exactly is Global Stocktake (GST)?

  • GST is a process developed as part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Its purpose is to analyse global progress in tackling climate change and to strengthen collective climate action.
  • The GST intends to examine the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s goals and targets, identifying areas where extra efforts are required to reach those goals.

Key aspects of the Global Stocktake include:

  • The Paris Agreement requires the GST to be conducted every five years, beginning in 2023. This periodical evaluation enables for measuring progress and changing strategies as needed.
  • GST examines all countries’ combined efforts in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, adjusting to the effects of climate change, and providing assistance to developing countries.
  • It assesses the effectiveness of countries’ actions in meeting the long-term temperature goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, primarily the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Transparency and accountability are promoted by the GST, which encourages governments to report on their progress and activities taken towards attaining their climate targets. This enables a thorough and objective evaluation of global climate action.
  • Identifying Gaps and prospects: The stocktake identifies gaps in collaborative efforts, such as funding, technology transfer, and capacity-building assistance, and investigates prospects for expanded activities to overcome those gaps.
  • Decision-Making: The GST results and recommendations assist future decision-making, such as the establishment of new targets and the revision of national climate policies known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Climate Negotiations Face Difficulties

  • Disputes and Delayed Agendas: Disputes between developed and developing countries caused delays in deciding on meeting agendas.
  • Historical Responsibility Debate: Australia’s attempt to reduce industrialised nations’ historical responsibility for creating global warming aroused controversy.
  • Perspective of Developing Countries: Developing countries emphasised the need of recognising historical responsibility in addressing climate change.
  • Possible Conflict at COP28: The issue of historical accountability is expected to reappear during COP28, making consensus difficult.

Transfer of Finance and Technology

  • Support Disparity: Developing countries expressed worry about insufficient financial and technological support from rich countries.
  • Burden of Implementation: Insufficient funds hinder the ability of developing countries to implement robust climate action plans.

Future Outlook

(1) Bridging Adequacy Gap:

  • Perspective of Developed Countries: Australia and the United States questioned developed countries’ primary responsibility for closing the adequacy gap.
  • Concerns of Developing Countries: Developing countries emphasised the need for financial assistance and technological transfers to improve their climate efforts.
  • Value Addition: Closing the sufficiency gap necessitates global cooperation, equitable burden sharing, and more financial support to developing nations.

(2) Financing Climate Action:

  • Inadequate Funding: Current financial commitments fall short of the resources needed to undertake climate action programmes.
  • The Paris Summit for a New Global Financial Pact intends to refocus global financial flows and create new funding for climate change efforts.
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