Bonn meet from Monday to discuss climate agreement, step up action

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New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Climate negotiators from 197 countries, including India, will gather in Bonn in Germany from Monday for a two-week meeting to discuss the implementation of the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement and how to step up action.

At the crucial inter-sessional talks, experts said, progress needs to be made on a number of technical issues ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Poland in December. These issues include the ‘rulebook’ for the Paris Agreement, and to prepare the ground for governments to commit to raise the ambition of their climate pledges by 2020.

Promising developments, seen across the world in the past few weeks, built the momentum for the Talanoa Dialogue and gave reason to hope that 2018 can be a trampoline before the world in 2019 jumps and scales up ambition to close the emissions gap, a climate expert told IANS.

The Talanoa Dialogue is an important international conversation in which countries will check progress and seek to increase global ambition to meet Paris Agreement goals.

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The dialogue was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn in November 2017 and will run throughout 2018.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is keep the global average temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“To achieve success at COP24, it is essential that the nations begin to work towards draft negotiating texts at the May meeting. This will provide a solid foundation for work in the second half of 2018 and help them deliver strong results,” an official statement quoting UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said.

At the COP23 in November last under the leadership of Fiji, the participating nations agreed to accelerate and complete their work to put in place the guidelines — officially termed the Paris Agreement Work Programme — at COP24 in Katowice in Poland.

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COP24 is the deadline for nations to agree on a common set of implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement, the so-called rulebook, which will establish the rules and processes needed to reach the global goal.

What to expect from this Bonn climate summit?

With the Talanoa Dialogue, Bonn will offer a platform for countries and non-party stakeholders to showcase their progress towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors and inspire each other while at the same time demonstrating the risks of inaction.

This summit, which will continue till May 10, will kick-start a process throughout the year and be followed by other international moments that showcase climate action around the world like the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Germany and the Ministerial on Climate Action in Brussels in June.

The 2018 Talanoa Dialogue will conclude at COP24 with a final report by the Presidency when ministers are expected to signal that they will enhance national climate pledges by 2020.

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Just a week before Bonn, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London concluded with a commitment from all 53 member-states to limit global warming to well below two degrees and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees, recognising that the impacts of climate change are a significant reality.

Bonn should be the place to help resolve the finance question, British charity Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead Mohamed Adow told IANS.

“Rich countries need to honour their promise of delivering $100 billion a year to poor countries to help them reduce their emissions and cope with a changing climate,” he said.

With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has near- universal membership and is the parent treaty of the Paris Agreement.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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