UN climate change talks in Bonn see concrete progress towards new agreement

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres addresses press briefing wrapping up the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Photo: UNFCCC

14 June 2013 – The United Nations climate change body said it has made concrete progress towards a new universal agreement on climate change during its latest round of talks which wrapped up today in Germany.

“This has been an important meeting because Governments are moving faster now from the stage of exploring options to designing and implementing solutions,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

During the two-week talks in Bonn, participants focused on how to transform the world’s energy systems quickly enough towards low-carbon, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and the consideration of carbon capture and storage.

With the longer-term goal of a universal UN treaty on climate change by 2015 which would enter force by 2020, this latest round of talks pave the way for ministerial-level UN Climate Change Conference (COP-19) in Warsaw, Poland, starting on 12 November.

“Over the past 12 months, solid foundations have been laid under the process both toward the 2015 agreement and in raising pre-2020 ambition,” the co-chairs of a working group tasked to design a new agreement and to raise near-term global ambition to deal with climate change, Jayant Moreshver Mauskar and Harald Dovland said in a joint statement.

“As a result of the constructive and flexible engagement amongst Governments, nations now have a clearer idea of how to move to achieve demonstrable progress at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Poland and beyond,” they said.

In Bonn, Governments also examined key elements for such a shift, including reducing investment risk for investors, public-private partnerships, a long-term, legally binding agreement and strong domestic institutions to deal effectively with finance in countries which receive support.

“To prevent our atmosphere turning permanently against us requires a continued, faster shift in those investment patterns and the policies and price signals that drive them,” said Ms. Figueres.

Participants also examined specific means to increase finance, technology and capacity-building for developing countries, and how this can link to the 2015 agreement.

Detailed and productive technical discussions took place under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), tasked to advise the UNFCCC.


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