Bonn Climate Conference [UPSC Notes]

The Bonn Climate Conference (June 2023) will discuss the Global Stocktake, loss and damage, mitigation, adaptation, finance, Article 6, and concerns about leadership for equitable climate ambition. In the article, you can learn more about the Bonn Climate Conference, its significance and its potential impact, from the IAS exam perspective.

Bonn Climate Conference

Countries have gathered in Bonn, Germany for the United Nation’s mid-year climate conference, also known as the Meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB58) being held on 5 – 15 June 2023.

  • The conference will be led by two bodies within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). 
  • It will lay the groundwork for the ‘Dubai 28th Conference of Parties (COP28)’ to the UNFCCC in December, where key decisions on climate action will be made.

Read more on the upcoming UNFCCC COP28 in the linked article.

Leadership and Conflicting Interests:

  • Equity and finance:
    • Addressing financial aspects to ensure equity in climate ambition, including filling the loss and damage fund.
    • Providing concessional finance for the energy transition in developing countries.
    • Securing financing for adaptation to climate change impacts.
  • Global Stocktake (GST):
    • GST process is a “ratchet mechanism” to increase ambition for mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technological support.
    • Concluding the information collection and technical assessment phase of Global Stocktake.
    • The final political phase of GST is to correct the course towards achieving Paris Agreement goals.
  • Loss and damage:
    • Continuing discussions on the scale and scope of the loss and damage fund.
    • Aim to make the loss and damage fund fully operational by COP 28.
    • Addressing divergent views on sources of finance, functioning, and governance of the fund.
  • Mitigation and just energy transition:
    • Advancing discussions on accelerating just energy transition.
    • Highlighting financing and technological needs of developing countries to drive climate ambition.
  • Adaptation and Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA):
    • Discussions on metrics, indicators, and methodologies for establishing the framework of GGA.
    • Emphasizing transformational adaptation and considering knowledge from indigenous communities.
  • Finance and New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG):
    • Continuing discussions on the NCQG for climate finance.
    • Deliberating the quantum of money required and mobilization of financial sources.
  • Article 6 implementation:
    • Shaping rules and procedures for cooperative approaches under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. 
    • Defining responsibilities of supervisory bodies and participating parties.
    • Consideration of including emission avoidance and conservation enhancement activities.
  • Balancing developed and developing countries’ interests:
    • Ensuring the voices and development goals of emerging economies and developing nations are considered in decision-making.
    • Addressing concerns of equitable distribution of benefits and responsibilities.
  • Consensus-building and overcoming barriers:
    • Navigating challenges and conflicting perspectives to achieve consensus.
    • Fostering dialogue and cooperation among participating countries to drive equitable climate ambition.

Challenges Ahead of COP 28

  • Russia-Ukraine conflict: The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine poses a challenge to international cooperation on climate action, as geopolitical tensions may impact negotiations and the ability to reach a consensus.
  • Energy security and fossil fuel dependency: Many developed countries continue to rely on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, which raises concerns about their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to renewable energy sources.
  • Just transition and development goals: Balancing the need for climate action with the development goals of emerging economies and developing countries is a challenge. Ensuring an equitable transition that doesn’t compromise their growth and development is crucial.
  • Financial architecture and climate finance: The question of reforms to the global financial architecture to support climate action and provide adequate climate finance to developing countries remains a central challenge. Ensuring sufficient funding for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage is crucial.
  • Equity and burden-sharing: Achieving equity in climate action and burden-sharing among countries is a persistent challenge. Negotiating fair and equitable contributions, particularly between developed and developing nations, is crucial for global cooperation.
  • Time urgency and ambition: The urgency to accelerate climate action and increase ambition in emission reductions is a significant challenge. Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, including limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, requires swift and ambitious actions from all countries.

Conclusion: The Bonn Climate Conference will set the tone for COP28, shaping discussions on key issues such as conflicting interests, equitable finance, implementation, and consensus-building, laying the foundation for decisive global climate action.

Bonn Climate Conference [UPSC Notes]:- Download PDF Here

Related Links
Paris Agreement Nationally Determined Contributions
Kyoto Protocol Montreal Protocol
List of Environment Conventions & Protocols Emission Gap Report 2022


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