Governments meet in Bonn to take forward historic UN Paris Climate Agreement
16 May 2016 | Mitigation
The latest round of UN climate change negotiations get underway on Monday with governments looking to the next steps needed to accelerate the implementation of the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement and continue the unprecedented momentum forged in 2015.
In order to ensure the aims and ambitions of the agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions will need to peak soon followed by quick reductions over the years ahead.
In the second half of the century those emissions need to be so low they can be easily absorbed by the Earth’s natural systems such as forests and soils. Building and supporting more resilient societies and economies will also be key.
Governments are already moving rapidly to bring the agreement into force. The Bonn UN Climate Change Conference (16-26 May) comes just weeks after 176 countries and the EU signed the agreement, with several key economies indicating they are ready to join the agreement this year and 16 States already depositing their instruments of ratification.
The Bonn meeting comes in advance of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to be held in Marrakech in November. Here governments will begin work on the “rule book” of the Paris Agreement covering how the agreement will work in detail once it enters into force.
Topics for the rule book include issues such as transparency on the reporting of climate action by nations as part of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Given that immediate and accelerated climate action is required for governments to reach their climate goals, a key focus in Bonn will be on activities which have a high potential to curb and reduce emissions.
At a “Climate Action Fair”, governments will discuss the social and economic value of carbon, along with how to shift to cleaner public transport and to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles.
The fair will also focus on building resilience to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, with governments discussing best policies in the area of adaptation, exchanging examples of best practices and exploring funding for such activities.
Cities, regions, businesses and investors, whose actions are crucial for supporting governments to meet their climate goals, will also be present in Bonn. Many of their individual and cooperative contributions are being captured on the UN’s NAZCA (Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action) portal.
The importance of new technologies will also be on show. A German-led Clean Energy Partnership, a consortium of 20 companies, will present hydrogen vehicles that can be test-driven by delegates and media representatives.
Opening press conference
On Monday, 16 May at 12:15 p.m. CEST, the UN’s top climate change official UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres will hold a joint press conference with the President of COP 21 (the official name of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year), French Environment Minister Ségolène Royale. They will be joined by a high-level representative of the Moroccan government, host of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech in November (COP 22).
Immediately after the press conference, Ms. Figueres and her guests will plant a tree on the premises of the UN, to commemorate the signing of the Paris Agreement and to honor Earth Day, also as part of a global campaign to plant trees as natural absorbers of carbon dioxide and important for realizing many of the Sustainable Development Goals.