• Civil society groups kick over lack of finance in climate progress
Bonn conference delegates wrapped up the technical dialogue of the first Global Stocktake (GST) – laying the ground for more ambitious climate action required at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) at the end of the year, after two weeks of intense work that made progress on several critical issues.
Decisions and progress were made on the global stocktake, climate finance, loss and damage and adaptation, among many others. Government delegates, observers and experts took part in the stocktake’s third and final technical dialogue, which consisted of a series of roundtables and events spread across six days.
They discussed how to accelerate collective progress on mitigation, including response measures; adaptation; loss and damage; and means of implementation (climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building).
In early September, the co-facilitators of the technical dialogue will publish a synthesis report, capturing the key findings of the three meetings of the dialogues. It will contain technical information, good practices and lessons learned to help parties and non-party stakeholders identify what to do to course-correct and achieve the Paris Agreement goals.
Other discussions focused on climate finance, notably the provision of adequate and predictable financial support to developing countries for climate action, including setting a new collective quantified goal on climate finance in 2024. On the global goal on adaptation, parties agreed on structural elements for a Dubai decision.
The second Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage provided useful information to advance the work of the transitional committee on the operationalisation of the funding arrangements and new fund for responding to loss and damage. Discussions focused on maximising support from existing funding arrangements, including considerations on coherence, complementarity and coordination. The committee will make recommendations for consideration and adoption at COP28 on how to operationalise the new loss and damage fund and funding arrangements.
The Bonn conference brought together more than 4,800 participants from all corners of the world, almost double the number of participants that attended last year’s conference. Indigenous peoples, local communities, businesses, cities and civil society, including youth and children, spoke about how they are addressing climate change and highlighted challenges that need to be overcome.
“Having taken nearly two weeks to agree on an agenda, it is easy to believe we are far apart on many issues, but from what I have seen and heard, there are bridges that can be built to realise the common ground we know exists,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell. “World-changing agreements happen when negotiators rise to the occasion, reach out and find compromises, then manage to convince their capitals of the merit and necessity of those compromises.”
Stiell singled out the global stocktake, which will conclude at COP28, as a moment to course correct to get the world on track to limiting the temperature rise in line with the Paris Agreement.
“Pledges by Parties and their implementation are far from enough,” said Stiell. “So, the response to the stocktake will determine our success – the success of COP28, and far more importantly, success in stabilizing our climate.”
In related development, civil society groups, especially members of Climate Action Network (CAN) have said that the UNFCCC Bonn climate talks brought to the fore the glaring lack of finance that is essential for climate progress.
They said decades of mistrust on the delivery of finance, for instance with the $100bn still unfulfilled, forced open a conversation on the need for actual money on the table for poorer countries to implement their climate action plans to phase out fossil fuels and make a just, as well as equitable transition towards renewables, addressing adaptation and loss and damage.
To keep the world on track to limit warming below 1.5ºC, they recommended rapid far-reaching greenhouse gas emission cuts and finance in a just and sustainable way.
“COP28 in Dubai must be the moment to signal the end of the fossil fuel era and ensure countries commit to a plan for fair, fast and funded phase out from fossil fuels alongside commitments to scale up renewable energy and energy efficiency,” according to CAN.
Head of Global Political Strategy, CAN International, Harjeet Singh, said: “The Bonn climate conference laid bare the glaring hypocrisy of wealthy nations, showcasing a remarkable indifference to the struggles of developing countries.
“Let’s be clear: without honouring their financial pledges—directly tied to their historical role in driving the climate crisis—these affluent nations lack the moral authority to exert pressure on poorer countries.
Developing nations face the monumental task of eradicating poverty, fostering green development, and coping with escalating climate disasters. They deserve unwavering support, not undue pressure.”
Meanwhile, the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) said developing countries’ efforts on adaptation must be recognised in the outcome of the GST.
Speaking during the closing session of the technical dialogue, AGN Chair Ephraim Shitima, said developing countries had demonstrated unwavering commitment by mobilising domestic resources for adaptation in the face of inadequate international support.
“We reiterate the need for an additional message in the GST on the recognition of adaptation efforts of developing countries, which is a strong demonstration of commitment by vulnerable countries in the face of inadequate international support,” said Shitima. “We also look forward to guidance on how we will deliver on the clear mandate in respect of assessing the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA).”
As the world is already experiencing changes in average temperature, shifts in the seasons, an increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and slow onset events, Africa has not been spared from climate disasters requiring adaptation resources at scale.
According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic incentives and their effects.
It refers to changes in processes, practices and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change.
Many nations and communities are already taking steps to build resilient societies and economies. However, greater action and ambition is needed to cost-effectively manage the risks, both now and in the Future.
Parties to the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement recognise that adaptation is a global challenge, which requires country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approaches, considering vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and guided by the best available science.
The UNFCCC has set up constituted bodies and Workstreams relevant to progressing adaptation responses and enhancing societal and environmental resilience. Most recently, the work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation, launched in 2021 at COP 26, maps out the way for the world to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerabilities associated with climate change.
AGN Lead Coordinator for the GGA, Kulthoum Omari, said: “We are already feeling the impacts from climate change, even below 1.5-degree global warming. Currently, we are at 1.15 degrees of global warming and according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Africa has warmed faster than the global average since pre-industrial times. This emphasizes the urgency of accelerating the implementation of adaptation in Africa during this decade…,” said Omari.
(FROM: THE GUARDIAN)