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UN Climate Talks in Bonn
June 4, 2014 @ 08:00 - June 15, 2014 @ 17:00
United Nations climate negotiations will resume for a ten-day session in Bonn, Germany, from 4-15 of June.
The negotiation session includes two ‘high level’ ministerial meetings, one on raising 2020 climate targets under the Kyoto Protocol, and another on the longer-term negotiations.
The longer-term negotiations, known as the “Durban Platform” and expected to conclude in Paris in 2015, are to raise current climate action (pre-2020) generally and create a new agreement for the post-2020 period.
The conference in Bonn will also include the ongoing technical work of the UN climate body, including on rules relating to accounting for emissions and a workshop on ‘long-term finance.’
It will be the first session with a large civil society observer presence since a “Walkout” of the negotiations at 2013’s Warsaw Conference, which ended with vague and ineffective decisions.
The Durban Platform negotiations will be undertaken in two “workstreams”:
- Workstream One on developing an agreement under the existing UN climate convention, ‘with legal force’ to be agreed by 2015 for application from 2020. The negotiations are supposed to be working toward ‘elaborating elements of a draft negotiating text’ in 2014, with the draft ready in May 2015.
- Workstream Two on increasing ‘ambition’ or the level of action and commitments under the Convention to tackle climate change between now and 2020, including the need to implement past decisions and raise developed countries’ targets as well as set targets for finance.
Key emerging questions (with further information below) from the talks will be:
- How will the commitment by developed countries to raise pre-2020 targets be met?
- What should the scope of the 2015 agreement be and how should it be developed?
- Does the technical work on issues like carbon markets and land use create more accounting loopholes?
Reactions from civil society
“The latest climate science is documented in our lived experience. Climate change is happening today and so people who have already lost so much are demanding action now. We demand reparations for the climate debt we are owed. Cur climate pollution before it gets much worse. Deliver the climate finance needed for our people to deal with the impacts.” Said Lidy Nacpil, of Jubilee South APMDD of the Philippines, who will be attending the talks.
“The outcome of the last climate summit was the complete wrong direction with weaker targets and less clarity on climate finance. Observers marched out of the Summit in Warsaw calling for people’s demands to be listened to over polluters’ influence – the Bonn meeting should indicate governments have raised their sights and they can do that by setting a credible pathway to raising pre-2020 action.”
– Mithika Mwenda, General Secretary of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, a coalition of over 1000 African groups headquarted in Kenya, said.
“The history of these negotiations is littered with broken promises on climate pollution cuts by rich industrialized countries. The Ministerial meeting on raising the 2020 targets should change that course but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Without honoring those previous promises it’s hard to take new ones seriously – a dangerous situation for the talks.”
– Meena Raman, negotiations expert with Third World Network, a Malaysian based NGO and longtime observer of the talks said.
“The solutions to the climate crisis exist and people across the world are proving that everyday. We are fighting dirty energy projects and big corporations as well as building alternative, more sustainable energy and food systems. It’s these peoples’ solutions that the technical expert meetings need to take up, instead of persisting with failed carbon markets or trying to protect fossil fuel interests.”
– Asad Rehman, Head of International Climate at Friends of the Earth EWNI, based in London, said.
“We have seen news that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may now be irreversible. Glacial melts in the Andes and the die-back of the Amazon rainforest will not be far behind, threatening our food sovereignty and water supplies – unless there’s a radical change of course. We will be making sure our government supports that change of course by letting the voices of impacted peoples and communities into the negotiating halls in December. We will not accept a steam-roller approach that gets a meaningless agreement for the sake of getting an agreement.”
– Osver Polo, a representative of the Citizens Movement on Climate Change (MOCICC) in Peru, attending the conference in Bonn to present demands from Peruvian civil society groups before the annual summit comes to Lima this December.