Climate Action Network’s take on the Bonn talk shop

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Bonn, Germany – Proper progress is urgently needed at the UNFCCC climate negotiations this week as, with each day passing, the talks are turning into a cesspit of inaction. Underscoring this is how divorced Bonn is fast becoming from real-world conversations, while long-standing inequities within the UNFCCC process, and between and within countries, are worsening.

Providing an overview of the June UN Climate Meetings so far, Mohamed Adow, Director, Power Shift Africa, said:: “Negotiators from the global north at the Bonn Climate Summit risk undermining the key outcomes from COP28 last year. Developed countries are backtracking on their commitments made in Dubai to accelerate discussions around climate finance. Rich countries have always dragged their feet when it comes to paying their fair share to tackle the climate crisis – a crisis their emissions have caused. That approach is simply unacceptable. The new long-term climate finance goal is the key issue at this year’s COP29 Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan and talks are going at a snail’s pace in Bonn. Countries must shift gears and prioritise this issue for the second week. They need to identify a possible landing ground ahead of Baku. That is the whole point of these Bonn talks, so negotiators have work to do.”

On climate finance, Mariana Paoli, Global Advocacy Lead, Christian Aid, said: “The lack of progress on the finance negotiations so far in Bonn is very disappointing. It Is time for rich countries to step up and deliver their financial commitments to enable climate action in developing countries. They must provide new, additional, and at-scale public finance to fulfill their obligations under the Paris Agreement. It is ridiculous that less than 6 months before COP29, and after two years of negotiations, developed countries have still not shown how much money they are willing to commit. We all want climate action. But to solve the climate crisis that is pushing our planet to the brink, we need to fix the world’s financial flows. Far more of the world’s money is still flowing to the causes of the climate crisis, than to the solutions.”

Wellington Madumira, the Coordinator for Climate Action Network Zimbabwe, said that fixing climate finance requires a comprehensive approach that involves all stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, financial institutions, and the private sector.

On the Global Stocktake (GST), Marine Pouget, Global Governance Policy Advisor, from Climate Action Network France said: “Despite a little bit of interesting information, the Global Stocktake Dialogue that happened during the first week at Bonn, was just a very long list of statements, which offered no real help in making Nationally Determined Contributions more ambitious. We need climate action, not a climate talk shop. We hope the Global Stocktake UAE Dialogue will bring the ambition we need to keep 1.5°C alive.”

On the UAE Dialogue, Teresa Anderson, Global Lead on Climate Justice, ActionAid, said: “If we want this UN process to deliver real change, we need to make sure that it also keeps up the pressure to secure the funds to make action happen. Despite their rhetoric of climate ambition, efforts by rich countries to pile new issues into the UAE Dialogue are designed to move a vital spotlight away from finance. Instead of more climate action, this will in practice lead to less money for action on the ground.”

On Adaptation, Imane Saidi, Diplomacy and Cooperation Researcher,  Imal Initiative for Climate and Development (IMAL) said: “Progress on matters relating to Adaptation has been slow at Bonn due to disagreements, and contention over who should lead the work on identifying and developing indicators. The second week must resolve these differences to kickstart the substantive and dense work of the UAE-Belem Work Programme, especially as there’s only a year and a half left. Additionally, the second part of the joint agenda item is too fragmented and needs to be unified.”

On Mitigation, Fernanda Carvalho, Global Policy Manager for Climate and Energy Practice, WWF International, said: “Discussions on Mitigation in Bonn – or the lack of them – are completely disconnected from a sad reality: the window to 1.5°C is closing fast. To get there, we need to collectively reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 and 65% by 2035 in relation to 2019 levels. That demands much stronger Nationally Determined Contributions in 2025, backed up by solid technical and financial support. Instead, discussions are about ‘procedural versus substantive outcomes,’ or ‘recommendations to improve processes.’ Well, climate change impacts are already devastating. Not even the rising level of the Rhine River just out of the venue is making things move faster. This week, we need a dramatic change of pace on the Mitigation Work Programme and on discussions related to Nationally Determined Contributions.”

On Loss and Damage, Harjeet Singh, Global Engagement Director, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, said: “The recent discussions at the Glasgow Dialogue in Bonn failed to match the urgency of the climate crisis at hand and starkly overlooked the critical scale of financing required to enable communities in developing nations to recover and rebuild from the devastating impacts of climate change. We must create new financial measures, such as imposing a wealth tax and penalising the fossil fuel industry, which is responsible for causing the climate emergency and continuing to profit from it. This approach could generate hundreds of billions of dollars, crucial for ensuring that the communities most affected by climate change receive justice and have equitable access to the resources they desperately need.”

On the COP presidency, Shady Khalil, Campaigns Lead, Greenpeace MENA said: “The COP28 Global Stocktake outcome set an unprecedented call for transitioning away from fossil fuels. Nationally Determined Contributions must now reflect this ambition, protect it and deliver it – ensuring the 1.5°C target remains our north star, as COP28 president Dr. Sultan Al Jabr said many times. The UAE, as the current COP presidency, must safeguard their outcome, and Azerbaijan needs to support and build on it, not deviate from it. That means less not more coal, oil, and gas, and Azerbaijan’s planned investments in fossil fuels are the opposite signal the world needs. Genuine commitment to deliver the scale of ambition needed is crucial for the success of COP29 and nothing less will suffice.”

On Energy, David Tong, Global Industry Campaign Manager, Oil Change International, said: “Last year in Dubai, governments agreed to triple renewable energy, double energy efficiency, and transition away from fossil fuels. Now, the 140 or more countries who called for a phaseout of fossil fuels need to put their policies where their mouths are, end all fossil fuel expansion, and show how they will accelerate the energy transition in the Nationally Determined Contributions. Rich countries must phase out the fastest, and provide financial support to others.”

On Just Transition, Caroline Brouillette, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) said: “For the transition to be fast enough to limit warming to 1.5°C, it must be just and bring people along. But after week one of the SB60, the key place where justice should be discussed, the UNFCCC is at risk of becoming a talk shop without any clear direction. Parties must fix this in the coming week by listing the activities and discussions the Just Transition Work Programme will address and look to agree to in Baku. That will set a clear path and propel us towards a COP30 in Brazil that delivers concrete and practical outcomes for people.”

On Women and Gender, Mwanahamisi Singano, Senior Global Policy Lead, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, said: “With the SB60 set to close on June 13th, Parties have literally just four days to determine the fate of millions of women and girls in all their diversities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. For the Work Programme on Gender and its action plan to be decided at COP29, significant progress must be made by the end of the SB60. We are extremely concerned about the lack of progress and the untimely distractions eroding trust, a key ingredient for an ambitious Work Programme on Gender.”

On Carbon Markets, Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) said: “In Bonn, market proponents continue tout carbon credit mechanisms as a climate solution, but they are not. States must focus on deep emissions cuts now, and provide the necessary finance for it; not rely on pollutants credits as offsets and uncertain and potentially harmful technologies that could violate human rights and exacerbate the climate crisis. No amount of rhetoric can turn carbon markets into the real, grants-based climate finance owed to support developing countries in adapting to the climate crisis and transitioning to a fossil-free future. As States continue discussions on carbon markets this week, with a view to operationalisation, what’s on the table risks harming human rights and undermining meaningful climate action. One thing we must be clear about is ‘we cannot offset our way to a climate-safe future.’”

On Agriculture, Marie Cosquer, an Analyst on Food Systems and Climate Crisis Action Contre La Faim, said: “Linking the joint work on agriculture with multi-stakeholder initiatives is unacceptable. They undermine the multilateral processes of the UNFCCC by opening it up to corporate interests that are pushing false solutions such as GMOs and pesticides. Multinational corporations of the food industry that take part in these initiatives are contributing to the climate crisis and to rising hunger and malnutrition everywhere. Parties must focus on agroecology and protecting the rights of small-scale farmers who are the ones producing food for people, not for profit.”

On Agreements for Intergovernmental Meetings (AIM), Ann Harrison, Climate Justice Advisor, Amnesty International said: “Access, safety and security of all participants in the UNFCCC is crucial and this year’s Bonn negotiation must put in place strong human rights guarantees and practical solutions to ensure meaningful participation. Some of the proposals currently on the table, such as timely visa systems, are welcome but should be strengthened and their implications should be thoroughly assessed before implementation, in full consultation with rights holders. Transparency is key – we must see Host Country Agreements being published routinely on the UNFCCC website, without host countries having a veto. The current draft is also a missed opportunity to take further steps towards a robust Conflict of Interest policy that would protect the UNFCCC from undue influence from the fossil fuel lobby.