28 Jun 2019, 12:38
Julian Wettengel

Little progress at Bonn climate change conference

tageszeitung (taz) / Clean Energy Wire

Participants in the 50th UN Bonn Climate Change Conference showed little will for progress and major decisions were postponed, writes Bernhard Pötter in an article for tageszeitung (taz). The meeting in the western German city of Bonn, seat of the UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, was supposed to set the stage for raising ambition to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the COP25 UN climate conference in Chile at the end of the year. The discussions were marked by “endless unfruitful detail debates and a massive attack on climate change science”, writes Pötter. Saudi Arabia tried to discredit the scientific underpinnings of the 1.5 degrees Celsius report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
NGO Germanwatch said it considered the pace of negotiations to be insufficient to promote the speedy implementation of the Paris Agreement. This lack of speed “must be compensated outside the negotiating context”, said Rixa Schwarz, Germanwatch’s international climate policy team leader, in a statement. “On 23 September, the world will turn its attention to the UN secretary-general's climate summit in New York. Germany and the EU must respond to UN Secretary-General Guterres' call for concrete plans.”
Jennifer Tollmann, policy advisor at climate change think tank E3G, said: “Heads of state are going to have to step up action at the UNSG summit and beyond to show they are taking the climate crisis seriously. And that includes giving negotiators mandates that allow them to deliver more than incremental progress, at best.”

Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia also refused to endorse the 1.5 degrees report’s findings at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, last year, despite support from almost the entire community of nations. In Poland, delegations adopted the Paris Agreement's implementation rules (the Paris rulebook). NGOs from Germany welcomed the “solid rulebook” that was going to enhance transparency and trust between nations created by the parties in Katowice but criticised the comparatively weak incorporation of the 1.5 degrees report by the IPCC.

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