This year’s Bonn Climate Conference (SB58) was held on Monday, from June 5-15, 2023. The Conference serves as preparation for decisions to be adopted at COP28 in December in the United Arab Emirates.
Building upon the numerous mandates that emerged from COP27 in Egypt last year, the conference convened the 58th session of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies, including a large number of events and continued discussions on crucial topics.
These topics include, among others, the global stocktake, the global adaptation goal, a just transition to sustainable societies, the work program for mitigating climate change, and the issue of loss and damage.
“For many people around the world, limiting the warming of our planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius is a matter of survival. The global stocktake is the chance of an entire generation to correct the course taken and find a way to address climate change with renewed vigor and perspective,” said UNFCCC Secretary Simon Stiell.
The technical phase of the global stocktake that I, personally as an observer, regarded as a very important element of the conference is marking the beginning of the political phase, which will work towards a compelling outcome of the first stocktake at COP28.
Another important task at SB58 was to prepare decisions for COP28 to set in motion the new fund for loss and damage, finalize financing agreements, and make a decision on the host of the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage.
Stiell added, “COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh marked the transition to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and resulted in several significant outcomes supporting this historic new phase. Parties to the agreement understand what is at stake, and now every country must fulfill its commitments.”
Several events address climate financing, particularly the provision of adequate and predictable financial support for climate action in developing countries, including the new joint quantified goal for climate financing. Other important topics include enhancing transparency and accountability in climate actions and minimizing the impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security.
Food Security and Climate Change
The Bonn Climate Conference placed significant emphasis on addressing the issue of food security in the Global South. This concern arises from the recognition that climate change has severe impacts on agricultural systems and poses significant challenges to ensuring access to sufficient and nutritious food for populations in developing countries.
During the conference, discussions and initiatives were focused on finding sustainable solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change on food production and to enhance the resilience of agricultural systems. This involved exploring adaptive practices, implementing climate-smart agricultural techniques, promoting sustainable land management, and investing in agricultural research and development.
Furthermore, efforts were made to improve access to financial resources and technical assistance for developing countries, particularly those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Funding mechanisms and partnerships were discussed to support adaptation and mitigation actions in the agricultural sector, aiming to safeguard food production and ensure food security in the face of climate-related challenges.
Recognizing the interconnected nature of climate change, food security, and sustainable development, the Bonn Climate Conference highlighted the importance of addressing these issues holistically. By integrating climate action with agricultural development strategies, the conference aimed to foster long-term sustainability, promote rural livelihoods, and enhance the well-being of communities in the Global South.
The Use of Climate Technologies Supporting Climate Action
The use of climate technology to support climate action was a significant focus at the Bonn Climate Conference. Climate technology refers to innovative solutions and approaches that help mitigate the impacts of climate change and promote sustainable development.
During the conference, discussions centered around harnessing and deploying climate technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance adaptation and resilience, and support sustainable practices across various sectors. This included areas such as energy, transportation, agriculture, waste management, and more.
One key aspect was the promotion of clean and renewable energy technologies. This involved exploring advancements in solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy systems and deploying energy-efficient technologies and smart grid solutions. The aim was to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy sources, thereby reducing emissions and combating climate change.
In addition, climate technology solutions were discussed in the context of adaptation and resilience. This encompassed innovations that help vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, drought-resistant crops, and water management technologies. By leveraging these tools, it becomes possible to enhance the resilience of communities, ecosystems, and critical infrastructure in the face of climate-related challenges.
Furthermore, discussions on climate finance and technology transfer were crucial at the conference. It was recognized that developing countries often require financial and technological support to access and implement climate technologies effectively. Thus, efforts were made to foster international cooperation, promote technology transfer, and provide financial assistance to facilitate adopting and deploying climate technologies in developing nations.
The Bonn Climate Conference emphasized the importance of climate technology in driving sustainable development and addressing climate change. Harnessing innovative solutions and promoting their deployment aimed to accelerate global climate action and support the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future.
The Climate Finance
At the Bonn Climate Conference, discussions on climate finance typically revolve around several key issues:
- Funding commitments: Developed countries discuss their financial commitments to support climate action in developing countries. These commitments are made under various international frameworks, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.
- Mobilizing funds: Participants explore ways to mobilize additional financial resources for climate action. This includes public funding, private investments, and innovative financing mechanisms. The goal is to increase the availability of climate finance and bridge the gap between the funding needed and the funding currently available.
- Transparency and accountability: Ensuring transparency and accountability in climate finance is crucial. Discussions center around establishing robust monitoring and reporting mechanisms to track the flow of funds and ensure they are effectively used for climate action. Developing countries often emphasize the need for predictable and sustained financial support.
- Adaptation and mitigation finance: The conference addresses the balance between adaptation and mitigation finance. Adaptation finance supports efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as building resilient infrastructure and implementing disaster risk reduction measures. Mitigation finance focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through projects like renewable energy deployment and sustainable land use.
- Support for vulnerable countries: Discussions also revolve around providing enhanced financial support to the most vulnerable countries, particularly small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs). These countries often face unique and severe climate challenges, requiring targeted financial assistance to address them effectively.
Overall, the Bonn Climate Conference serves as a platform for international cooperation and dialogue on climate finance, aiming to mobilize resources and promote effective climate action worldwide.
As an observer from VIVAT International at the Bonn Climate Conference, I have gained insights into the ongoing efforts and discussions surrounding climate change. Based on my observations, I have reached the conclusion that while the conference was interesting, there is still much work to be done in addressing the root causes of climate change and mitigating its impacts on a global scale. This conclusion aligns with the widely recognized understanding that climate change remains a pressing issue that requires urgent action.
It is essential to highlight that the Bonn Climate Conference is a significant international gathering where stakeholders from various countries, organizations, and sectors come together to discuss and negotiate climate-related policies and actions. These conferences serve as platforms for sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas, and developing strategies to combat climate change collectively.
However, despite the efforts made at conferences like these, it is evident that the global response to climate change is still insufficient to tackle the issue effectively. While progress has been made in some areas, such as renewable energy adoption, emissions reduction commitments, and awareness-raising campaigns, many challenges remain.
Key courses of climate change, such as greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, deforestation, unsustainable land use, and reliance on fossil fuels, continue to contribute to the warming of our planet. The impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, extreme weather events, sea-level rise, loss of biodiversity, and disruption of ecosystems, are already being felt across the globe. More should be done. I hope the COP28 in December in the United Arab Emirates will come up with more solutions, insights, and decisions that will save our mother planet.
Gasto Lyimo CSSp