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Bonn talks: Polish Presidency urged to step up ahead of COP24

The Polish Presidency to the upcoming 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled to hold December 2018 has been asked to step up its game for a successful COP by embracing an outcome that would deliver a political commitment for stronger ambition.

Poland COP24
Tomasz Chruszczow, COP 24 Presidency, Poland, and Incoming COP 24 President Michal Kurtyka, State Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Poland. Photo credit: http://enb.iisd.org

Speakers at a media session by the Climate Action Network (CAN) on Saturday, May 5, 2018 on the sidelines of the Bonn climate change conference wants emphasis placed on a strong rulebook and political commitment towards enhanced ambition.

“We have seen worrying signs that the Polish presidency thinks that it will sufficient just to get some kind of rulebook. Let’s be clear on this: if Poland wants to make the next COP a success and be seen as competent hosts, they need to work hard not only for a strong rulebook but also to ensure that the Talanoa Dialogue, the first review of the Paris Agreement, actually triggers much stronger climate commitments.  Currently we’re heading for 3 degrees C of warming rather than the 1.5 degrees C agreed in Paris and the window of opportunity to reverse this is swiftly closing,” the speakers said.

They reiterated that although negotiations started well on the first week of the summit, progress has however been slow.

They underlined the need to cut through the clutter to hash out some clear options on the negotiating text of the rulebook that countries can take forward in discussions in the run up to COP24 in Poland to ensure a strong outcome both on the Paris rulebook and a political outcome for stronger climate ambition.

Jens Mattias Clausen, from Greenpeace Nordic, said: “2018 is a crucial year in the fight against climate change and this session in Bonn has to set the right tone for the year ahead.  We need to see commitments from countries that they will scale up their ambition to stay on track with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. The Talanoa Dialogue this Sunday must act as the springboard for these new stronger commitments.”

On finance, the panel emphasised that the enabling factor to lay the groundwork for success at COP24 hinges on finance, which they say remains a crunch issue.

Countries, say the panellists, are yet to resolve key issues around Article 9.5 on predictability of finance and on biennial reporting on the status of financial support from developed countries.

Eddy Perez, International Policy Analyst, said: “Finance is an issue of trust. In Bonn, Parties should make sure this topic is sorted out and that by COP24, Article 9.5 is fully operational under the work programme of the Paris Agreement. While this has been a controversial issue at these negotiations, it is necessary that all countries engage constructively on this topic to address the legitimate questions, to engage on the process and on the information to be provided that still need to be resolved.

“We also encourage all developed countries to submit their biennial submissions on strategies and approaches as soon as possible. 9.5 is part of the work programme of the Paris Agreement.”

The outcome from the Suva Expert Dialogue last week to discuss loss and damage finance was a disappointment, added Perez, saying that it is necessary to carry forward the discussions to lay out a concrete road-map to support those impacted by climate change beyond just insurance.

With the Talanoa Dialogue set for Sunday, Fernanda De Carvalho, WWF Climate & Energy practice policy manager International, said the Dialogue must be seen as a real opportunity to highlight actions linked to enhanced ambition, fully supported by the political will to take outcomes from the Dialogues forward.
He said: “To change the world, we must start with changing ourselves. That is why the Talanoa Dialogue is an important process. We hope this innovative approach inspires governments with new ideas of how to reduce emissions. The outcome of this process must lay the road to COP24 in terms of commitments to revising and improving their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020. This will determine the future for generations today and in the future.”

The CAN is a global network of over 1,200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

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