Groundswell of Action by Cities, Companies and Regions Fire Up Optimism on‘Pre-2020’ Ambition and Beyond

Bonn—(UNFCCC release) The road map to a new universal climate agreement
will step into a higher gear over the next two months as the world works
towards Paris in December.

Governments today asked the two delegates who are co-chairing the
negotiations to table text in mid-July that begins shaping what will be the
Paris agreement and what will be the supporting decisions—the so called
‘Paris Package’.

The decisions will operationalize the ambition contained in the Paris
Agreement which is aimed at deeper, more accelerated and long term global
action to address climate change: namely by keeping a global temperature
rise under 2 degrees C while protecting the vulnerable from harmful
impacts.

The co-chairs text should also make it easier for governments including
ministers to identify the key political decisions that will have to be
taken at and in advance of the UN climate convention conference in France.

Several key ministerial meetings have been organized over the coming months
including by the French Presidency of the UN climate conference.

“The path to Paris is now happening on both the political and negotiating
levels and with a mood of exceptional confidence and engagement—what is
being managed here is no longer resistance to an agreement but complexity,
enthusiasm and an understanding that every nation is playing its part,”
said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“The negotiations are also occurring against the backdrop of an
accelerating wave of climate action from non-State actors including cities,
regions, territories and companies which is contributing confidence to the
process,” she said.

“Each moving part is gearing and firing up the rest to advance forward and
to ensure the world remains on track to deliver in Paris,” said Ms.
Figueres.

“Governments are committed to reach an agreement that sets down the
pathways and the supporting structures for a century-long transformation
that allows all countries to reach a sustainable, clean energy future,” she
added.

“What is occurring is in many ways unprecedented in the history of
international cooperation in respect to vision and scale. Everyone’s
concerns are being accommodated and everything has to move in parallel—it
is understandably a complex but now also a very dynamic process,” said Ms.
Figueres.

Major Impetus from G7 and Non-State Actors

During the Bonn meeting, the global commitment to keep the world below a
2˚C temperature rise received significant impetus from the industrialized
G7 nations.

The G7, at their summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, issued a final
communique which emphasized that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas
emissions are required with a decarbonization of the global economy over
the course of this century. They also said they would continue efforts to
provide USD 100 billion a year by 2020 to support developing countries own
climate actions.

Meanwhile, a new report from the UN Environment Programme found that
non-State climate initiatives might bring emissions savings of close to 1.8
gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020.

The Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA, see
http://climateaction.unfccc.int/), launched at the last UN climate
conference in Lima, Peru, is showcasing this wealth of city to company
action in support of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA, see
http://climateaction.unfccc.int/aboutlpaa.aspx).

Countries under the UNFCCC reconvene in Bonn from 31 August to 4 September
where the new text developed by co-chairs Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria
and Daniel Reifsnyder of the United States will form the basis of the next
round of negotiations.

A further round of negotiations is scheduled for October in advance of the
Paris climate conference (COP 21).

Further highlights from the Bonn meeting

The Bonn climate change meeting also addressed a range of technical and
implementation-related work.

Forests protection

Governments made important progress on how to reduce emissions from
deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). A package of three decisions,
which is to be approved by COP 21, covers the transparency and quality of
information countries must report when implementing their forest protection
programmes, in particular on how they are addressing safeguards, for
example those related to indigenous rights and biodiversity.

Multilateral Assessment

The second round of the multilateral assessment (MA) successfully concluded
at the Bonn Climate Change Conference on 5 June 2015. This process offered
Parties a unique opportunity to assess how developed countries are
implementing actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A total of 24 developed countries were assessed on how they are progressing
towards their economy-wide emission reduction targets.

Countries presented their actions in an open way, outlining national
circumstances, challenges and achievements. Countries agreed that being
informed of the actions that others are undertaking and how significantly
increased transparency and trust.

2013-15 Review report

Governments meeting in Bonn discussed a review of whether the
internationally agreed goal to keep the global average temperature from
rising beyond 2°C above pre-industrial levels is adequate to meet the
current challenge of climate change.

A central conclusion of the report is that it is critically important to
stay within 2°C or lower in order to avoid the worst climate impacts. The
recommendations will be forwarded to the COP.

Dialogue on climate education and training

Governments and other stakeholders shared their experiences and ideas
regarding Article 6 of the UNFCCC. Article 6, which also has been given a
face-lift at the meeting by being re-branded Action for Climate Empowerment
(ACE), focuses on climate change education, training, public awareness,
public access to information and international cooperation.

A special dialogue with key stakeholders on climate change education,
training and international cooperation also took place. At the event,
George Marshall, founder of the Climate Outreach Information Network and
author of “Don’t Even Think About It: Why our Brains Are Wired to Ignore
Climate Change”, gave an inspiring keynote address.

Gender and climate change

An in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy, mandated by the
Lima Work Programme on Gender, took place over two days on 8 & 9 June.

Both days were well attended and many good ideas on concrete action,
overcoming challenges and enhancing synergies within the UNFCCC process and
in national strategies were aired over the duration of the workshop, via
presenters, panelists and participants.

Countries have requested the report to be published as soon as possible in
order that the ideas and actions identified can be used by Parties in their
preparations for Paris.

Work on Raising Immediate Ambition

As part of work to raise ambition before 2020, when the new agreement comes
into effect, technical expert meetings on renewable energy supply and
energy efficiency in urban areas took place in Bonn, building on similar
meetings last year.

The meetings focused on the most promising and feasible technologies and
policies that could be implemented and scaled up in the near future.

For renewable energy supply, this includes distributed power generation and
key financial incentives such as feed-in tariffs.

In the area of urban energy efficiency, participants said that due to
rapidly growing urban populations, trillions of dollars in new investments
need to be channeled into low-carbon and greater resilience to climate
change.

Experts looked at solutions ranging from energy efficient buildings to
sustainable urban transport.

Climate Action Fair

At the Bonn conference, the Climate Action Fair also provided an
opportunity for leaders from business, politics and intergovernmental
organizations to discuss renewable energy and energy efficiency.

A key message that emerged from the fair is that business and city leaders
are driving innovation and transformational change, and can do more with
the right policies in place.

For example, at the fair, the furnishing company IKEA announced plans to
spend 1 billion Euros on renewable energy and steps to help poor nations
cope with climate change.

The information and communications industry under the Global
e-Sustainability Initiative (Gesi) also showed how it can help to deliver a
20% reduction of global emissions by 2030, and over USD$11 trillion in new
economic benefits.