The secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is looking forward to hosting the 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UNFCCC at its head offices in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November 2017. The secretariat is said to be working in very close collaboration with the Government of Fiji, who will serve as the President of the Conferences and provide the political leadership to move forward international cooperation on climate change.
The Government of Germany, as the host country of the secretariat, along with the City of Bonn and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, are providing valuable moral, political and budgetary support to the organisation of this major international event.
The Government of Germany – Committed to Climate Action
The government of Germany hosted the first ever Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in 1995 (COP1 in Berlin) and has been committed to supporting international climate action ever since. In addition, Germany has announced that it will make climate action a key focus of the G20 during its Presidency of the group, which runs until 30 November of this year.
The State of North Rhine Westphalia – Transitioning to the Green Economy
Bonn is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is Germany’s most populous state and in many ways a hub for climate protection. A number of cities in North Rhine-Westphalia have reportedly transitioned away from heavily polluting industries such as coal mining to high-tech and services industries. For example, the city of Essen holds the title of Europe’s “Green Capital” in 2017 for its success in shifting to a green economy. The title, awarded by the European Commission, recognises the fact that Essen, for example, procures renewable energy and has managed to exceed the German national average greenhouse gas emission reduction. During COP23, the German government and North Rhine-Westphalia intend to showcase further examples of climate protection and clean tech in the region.
The City of Bonn – a UN Hub for Sustainability
Bonn has been described as a hub for sustainability. The city is making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by, for example, introducing electric buses. Bonn is home to 19 UN agencies which all deal with global topics of the future such as climate protection, desertification, water balance, soil and species protection. In addition, more than 150 international organisations are located around the UN hub in the Bonn region, implying that a network exists that provides synergies for work on the issue of sustainability as well as for related conferences and events. The main venue of COP23 will be the Bonn World Conference Centre, which will be complemented with temporary infrastructure in the vicinity.