Bonn: time for ambitious climate decisions


By Mattias Söderberg

Here we go again. This week the UN Climate talks resume in Bonn. I wonder how aware negotiators are that they are talking about both our future and our responsibility to care for creation?

Decisions on giant climate bill

This year, there are two overarching themes. First, it is time to agree on how to pay the giant climate bill. Since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015 parties have discussed, and adopted, several important decisions which tackle the climate crisis. However, every decision comes with a price tag.

The Global Goal on Adaptation will never be reached unless more adaptation finance is mobilized. The new Loss and Damage fund will not help communities and countries address climate-related losses and damage until it too is filled with money. And parties’ commitments to transition away from fossil fuels will never come true unless there is a radical increase in climate finance.

At COP29, the global climate summit this November, parties are expected to decide on future climate finance. That will be an extremely complex decision. It is therefore one of the hot agenda points over the next two weeks of Bonn talks. Hopefully negotiators can make progress, so that the coming finance agreement at COP29 will be ambitious and fair while ensuring that sufficient funds are mobilized and delivered.

Climate ambition decisions must be acted on

The second important theme of the Bonn talks is the national climate plans. These plans, formally known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), are the cornerstone of the Paris Agreement. Parties are expected to revise their plans every fifth year. This process is an ambition mechanism, helping us to increase our actions to tackle the climate crisis.

The NDCs may not be the biggest topic on the formal agenda in Bonn. However, it is certainly a top priority for all parties. The deadline for submitting revised NDCs is early next year. The plans should cover all the aspects of the Paris Agreement and ensure that decisions will become concrete actions.

I hope the negotiating parties in Bonn remember to include efforts to address loss and damage, to describe how they want to adapt to the effects of climate change, and how they want to transition away from fossil fuels. I hope they also remember that climate action must go hand in hand with gender justice, and that localization is a key priority.

The coming two weeks will be important. Even if the talks are technical, we should remember that these are negotiations about our future, and our opportunity to care for creation.

Mattias Söderberg is chief advocacy lead for DanChurchAid and co-chair of the ACT Climate Justice Reference Group.

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