Nations Prepare to Implement Paris Climate Agreement
BONN, Germany, May 9, 2018 (ENS)
Bonn talks, which opened April 30 and run through May 10, are focused on developing the operating manual for implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.
The UNFCCC chief outlined three priorities:
First, all stakeholders, including governments, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, investors and citizens, must accelerate climate action by 2020.
Second, she said, the international community must complete the Paris Agreement guidelines, or operating manual, to unleash the potential of the accord.
Third, conditions must be improved to enable countries to be more ambitious in determining their own national policies to slow down global warming.
At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) held last November under the leadership of Fiji, nations agreed to accelerate and complete their work to put in place the guidelines, officially known as the Paris Agreement Work Programme, at COP24 in Katowice, Poland this coming December.
At this Bonn meeting, governments are drafting texts to be finalized at COP24.
Finishing the operating manual is necessary to assess whether the world is on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting greenhouse gas emissions, while pursuing efforts to keep the temperature rise to less than 1.5°C.
Throughout this year, countries will focus on how they can scale up their climate ambition and implementation in the pre-2020 period. All countries share the view that climate action is essential prior to 2020 when implementation of the Paris Accord begins.
Talks focused on the financial support needed to make the Paris Agreement work. By one estimate, the annual un-avoided damages of climate change will cost $50 billion by 2020, growing to $300 billion in 2030.
To find ways of increasing resilience to climate change impacts such as floods and droughts, experts and governments are convening May 9 and 10 in Bonn to discuss how successful adaptations in communities and ecosystems can be scaled up and replicated.
The meeting is taking place during the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn as part of the Technical Expert Meetings on Adaptation. It aims to pave the way for global policies, practices and investments to be translated into policy options and actions that meet the needs of vulnerable communities, groups and ecosystems.
Because women tend to be greatly affected by climate change while playing a huge role in food production, especially in developing countries, one session will focus on building the adaptive capacity of women.
All sessions will produce recommendations to boost support for respecting areas and actions, ease the move from planning to implementation and increase coordination between the national and local levels.
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist, former Mayor of New York City, and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action, pledged last June to make up the funding shortfall of the Climate Change Secretariat, the UNFCCC. The shortfall was caused by U.S. President Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
In late March, the United States Congress announced that it was cutting funding to the UNFCCC for this year by $4.5 million; from $7.5 million, down to $3 million.
Bloomberg’s $4.5 million contribution will go towards general operations, including assisting countries to meet targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Accord.
Bloomberg said he will make additional funds available to the UN Climate Change Secretariat should the U.S. government continue to fail to pay its share of the UN climate budget in 2019.
An important objective of the May session in Bonn is holding the Talanoa Dialogue.
The Pacific island concept of Talanoa was introduced by Fiji, which held the Presidency of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference. It aims at an inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue.
Traditional in the Pacific region, the purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good. The Talanoa method purposely avoids blame and criticism to create a safe space for the exchange of ideas and collective decision-making.
The consultative dialogue will check progress, reaffirm the goals of the Paris Agreement and aim to help countries increase their ambition now and in the next round of their voluntary national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions.
The content of these story-telling conversations will feed into the Talanoa Dialogue’s political phase at COP24. The political phase will bring together government ministers and high-level officials for conversations with a view to generating political momentum to check the warming climate.
The World Health Organization <www.who.int>(WHO) has warned that records for extreme weather events are being broken at an unprecedented rate, and that there is a real risk that the planet could lose its capacity to sustain human life if the climate is further altered by adding ever more heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
WHO officials expressed the warning while presenting new data at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn that shows that nine out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants and that around seven million people every year die from exposure to fine particles in polluted air.
The figure could be surpassed by deaths caused by rising global temperatures and extreme weather if emissions, primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, are allowed to rise at their present rate.