Durban Group Holds Bonn UN Climate Talks

In Bonn, Germany, the last round of formal negotiations before December’s key climate convention in Lima, Peru, is under way. From October 20 to 25, national governments of the worldwide UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will continue working together at the Bonn UN Climate talks on a new draft climate agreement. The elements developed now will lead to a negotiating text for the Lima meeting, where the world body will work toward a mandated universal climate plan to be adopted in Paris at the end of next year.

Governments have previously agreed to limit global temperature increases to below 2 degrees C. The nonbinding Summit on Climate Change arranged by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2014, with its attendant march, was an important element preparing governments, experts, and lay people in the policies necessary to grow the momentum for climate action in a concrete, action-oriented manner.

October 2014 UNFCCC Durban Platform for Enhanced Action meeting, Bonn (UNFCCC)

In Bonn, they’re now working toward clear formulations of what each country can contribute toward the agreement. Funds and actions (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) discussed at the Bonn UN climate talks will correspond to each nation’s circumstances, especially in terms of emission reductions. December’s Lima delegates will ratify a formal agreement on the shape of INDCs so that countries can provide the crucial elements with confidence during the first few months of the next year.

Two special themes dominate the Bonn UN climate discussions: carbon capture, storage, and use; and non-CO2 greenhouse gases like methane and hydrofluorocarbons. Government experts are continuing 2014 meetings directly with experts from United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. This work stems from the Ad Hoc Working Group on the UNFCCC Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).  It aims to assist nations in their mitigation opportunities through energy efficiency, renewable energy, urban environment, and land use improvements efforts toward 2020, when the binding Paris agreement will go into effect.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (ACT Alliance/Sonali Fernando) Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, welcomed the group to the Bonn UN climate talks, crediting “an extraordinary year of momentum by governments supported by climate action from cities and communities to corporations and the finance sector.”

Said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru’s Minister of State for Environment, who will chair the Lima meetings (COP 20/CMP 10):

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru Minister of State for Environment and Lima UNFCCC chair (UN)“Our positions have come closer and continue to do so since the beginning of this year…. [It] is very important that during this week, we hold meetings and consult widely among countries and groups, with the aim of having substantive results—especially because this is our last opportunity before Lima.”

By the end of the meeting, conference parties will have developed a draft decision on pre-2020 ambitions for ratification in Lima. Access the Bonn UN climate schedule and documents for the October session here. Social media enable virtual participation in the session. The main twitter hashtag for the meeting is #ADP2014. You’ll find Lima Climate Change Conference information at this link, and the main twitter hashtag for the Lima conference is #COP20 (20th UN Conference of Parties on climate change).

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