The week of climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany - this year's fourth and final formal negotiating session before COP21 - came to a close, and the 195 countries of the United Nations Framework Convention approved the new draft text, which was officially released today. The text will not be modified again until the start of COP21 in Paris, which will take place from November 30 to December 11, and where a new global climate agreement is expected.
The road to Paris
Climate change represents a reality that will not wait until 2050 or until 2100 to manifest itself, a current example is the passage of Hurricane Patricia, which threatens the Mexican Pacific with maximum winds of 240 km / h, which has forced the Mexican Secretary of the Interior declares several localities in "extraordinary emergency".
What we are experiencing now is nothing more than the result of a development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, which has caused the average temperature of the planet to increase rapidly in recent decades and generate climate imbalances. .
Faced with this phenomenon, for 20 years, governments around the world have met periodically to discuss this matter. The year 2015 is decisive, since as a result of this long process, the countries are expected to approve a new global climate agreement, which will come into effect from 2020 and will give a new orientation to the development of our societies.
Closing of the trading session in Bonn
The draft negotiating text was presented on the afternoon of October 23 at the World Conference Center in Bonn, after a hectic week, full of changes and insertions in the text.
Although the text still contains many options that leave the doors open to what could result in Paris, it raises, among others, achieving a "decarbonization" of the economy so far this century, without yet defining the year, the possibility that the issue of “loss and damage” is included as an element of the text, as well as a possible increase in the time of the financing goal established for 2020 - invest 100 billion dollars annually in climate actions.
The session ended with the words of the representative of the current COP presidency, the Peruvian ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales, who indicated that there are still many things to be defined. He also affirmed that to transform this document into a legal agreement, one must work in a different way, and find the correct method to achieve a consensual agreement.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said the draft includes additional options that reflect the concerns of all countries. “Now we have a text whose authorship belongs to the Parties, which is balanced and complete. The challenge for governments is to give it a much more concise and coherent form for its adoption in Paris "
For her part, the French ambassador for climate change, Laurence Tubiana, who will assume the presidency of the COP in December 2015, expressed her solidarity with Mexico and stressed that: "What is happening should encourage us to work faster." He stated that, although much work remains to be done, the Bonn text is "a good basis" for the negotiations to take place at COP21.
In the weeks remaining before December, key issues will continue to be discussed, through informal meetings as well as a pre-COP ministerial meeting on November 8 and 9, as well as important events such as the G20, which will directly or indirectly influence the course of the debate in Paris.
What will be negotiated in Paris?
The text agreed in Bonn is structured around 7 main themes:
- Mitigation - What goal do we set for ourselves in terms of reducing our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and how will we achieve it?
- Adaptation - How do we adapt to the effects of climate change, which are already manifesting themselves?
- Loss and damage - How do we cope with the effects of climate change that we cannot adapt to, for example extreme weather events?
- Financing - How will the mitigation and adaptation actions that must be implemented to face climate change be financed?
- Technology development and transfer - How do we ensure that developing countries have access to technologies to accelerate the process of mitigating and adapting to climate change at the global level?
- Capacity building - What capacities are needed for adaptation and mitigation and how to strengthen them? How to promote citizen participation?
- Transparency, compliance and review - How do we ensure that countries meet their commitments and communicate their results in a transparent manner?
Each paragraph contains several options that represent the different positions of the countries; Final decisions on each topic will be made in Paris, and the text will be refined until an international consensus is reached.
Below we share a free to use infographic, which compiles the stages of this year's negotiation process: