Key Takeaways from the Bonn Climate Meeting: Addressing Old Conflicts and Some Progress

Key Takeaways from the Bonn Climate Meeting: Addressing Old Conflicts and Some Progress
Posted on 21-06-2023

Key Takeaways from the Bonn Climate Meeting: Addressing Old Conflicts and Some Progress


Representatives from countries around the world gathered in Bonn, Germany, for climate negotiations, in preparation for the upcoming UNFCCC's COP28 in Dubai. This marked the first full in-person meeting since COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The primary agenda of the Bonn Conference was to lay the groundwork for the global stocktake (GST) and accelerate climate action.


Global Stocktake (GST):

The GST, mandated by the 2015 Paris Agreement, aims to assess global progress in fighting climate change and identify strategies to bridge the adequacy gap. The Bonn conference concluded the third round of technical discussions on GST, producing a framework outlining the elements to be included in the stocktake exercise. The substantive discussions and decisions regarding the GST will take place at COP28.


Mitigation Work Programme (MWP):

In addition to the GST, the MWP was established at COP26 in Glasgow, focusing on increasing emission cuts. However, discussions on the MWP faced challenges when developing countries raised concerns about the lack of enabling finance and technology transfers from developed countries. Developed nations have an obligation to support the climate action plans of developing countries through financial assistance and technology transfers.


Issues Between Developed and Developing Nations:

Disagreements emerged during the discussions on GST, particularly concerning provisions related to finance, technology transfer, and the historical responsibility of rich countries. Developed countries are historically responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, forming the basis for differentiated burden-sharing between developed and developing nations. Developing countries emphasized the need for international support in the form of financial resources and technology transfer to enhance their climate actions.


Importance of Financial Support:

To achieve the goal of reducing global emissions by 43% from 2019 levels by 2030 and meet the 1.5-degree target, developing countries require approximately US$ 6 trillion between now and 2030 to implement their climate action plans. Additionally, the annual loss and damage needs of developing countries amount to around US$ 400 billion. However, the committed annual funding of US$ 100 billion by developed countries, which was supposed to be available from 2020, falls short of these requirements.


Concerns Raised by Developed Nations:

Developed nations argue that historical emissions occurred when there were limited alternatives to fossil fuels, and the understanding of greenhouse gas harm was limited. They highlight that since 1992, a significant share (57%) of carbon dioxide emissions came from non-Annex I countries (all countries excluding a group of about 40 rich and industrialized countries). Developed nations emphasize that while they lead climate action, bridging the adequacy gap is not solely their responsibility and reject references to pre-2020 commitments in the GST.


Future Perspectives:

Efforts are underway to raise financial resources for climate change, such as the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact. This initiative aims to redirect global financial flows and raise new funds to combat climate change, biodiversity loss, and poverty. However, a fundamental overhaul of discussions, actions, and financing related to climate change is necessary, as current global efforts are fragmented, partial, and insufficient to achieve temperature targets.


The Bonn Climate Meeting highlighted the importance of addressing historical responsibility, providing financial resources, and enhancing technology transfers to support climate action in developing countries. To meet the 1.5-degree or 2-degree Celsius targets, a significant and immediate scale-up in global climate action is imperative. The international community needs to undertake comprehensive reforms in discussions, actions, and financing to effectively combat climate change and its associated challenges.

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