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Govts commit to take forward vital work to tackle climate change in 2020

At a virtual meeting on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC committed to take forward crucial work to tackle climate change under the umbrella of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), despite the COVID-19 crisis.

Patricia Espinosa
Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary

The 11 members of the Bureau are nominated by each of the five United Nations regional groups and Small Island Developing States, and provide advice and guidance regarding the ongoing work under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, the organisation of their sessions and the relevant support by the UN Climate Change secretariat.

Since the last meeting of the Bureau in April, the work of the UNFCCC secretariat has not slowed, with several initiatives launched in order to drive momentum, showcase continuing climate action and urging greater climate ambition from all segments of society.

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UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, said: “Our efforts to address climate change and COVID-19 are not mutually exclusive. If done right, the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis can steer us to a more inclusive and sustainable climate path.

“We honor those whom we have lost by working with renewed commitment and continuing to demonstrate leadership and determination in addressing climate change, and building a safe, clean, just and resilient world.”

In addition to several technical meetings organised by the UN Climate Change secretariat, key political events have taken place this year, for example the Petersberg Climate Dialogue and the Placencia Ambition Forum.

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From June 1 to 10, 2020, a series of online events will be conducted under the guidance of the Chairs of the UNFCCC’s  Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and with the support of the UNFCCC secretariat, the June Momentum for Climate Change.

The June Momentum events, it was gathered, offer an opportunity for Parties and other stakeholders to meet virtually and continue exchanging views and sharing information in order to maintain momentum in the UNFCCC process and to showcase how climate action is progressing under the special circumstances the world is currently facing.

This will include advancing technical work under the constituted bodies, as well as providing a platform for information exchange and engagement on other work being done under the UNFCCC, including on adaptation, mitigation, science, finance, technology, capacity-building, transparency, gender, Action for Climate Empowerment, and the preparation and submission of nationally determined contributions.

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Formal negotiations and decision-making are not envisaged for these events and will take place at the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body sessions which are scheduled for October 2020.

The Bureau of the Conference of the Parties, with the UK and its Italian partners on Thursday also agreed new dates for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, which will now take place between November 1 to 12 2021, in Glasgow.

The conference was originally set to take place in November 2020, but had been postponed due to COVID-19.

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