Director, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Yerima Peter Tarfa
In a next round of UN climate change negotiations, nations are meeting from 8 – 18 May 2017 to further develop the guidelines needed to fully implement the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement now and over the decades to come.
A statement by the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said, “Issues under discussion range from ensuring transparency on the reporting of climate action by nations to the provision of climate finance.”
Next to the negotiations on the operational rules of the Agreement, which are scheduled to be completed in 2018, governments will also prepare the budget of the Bonn-based UNFCCC secretariat, the statement said.
The budget is designed to support governments implement the Paris Agreement and provide a range of assistance to developing countries to help them meet their climate action plans or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
“The May meeting provides governments with the opportunity to clearly advance on the implementation guidelines for making the Paris Agreement fully operational while advancing preparations for the assessment, to take place next year, on progress since Paris,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
“The May meeting will also prepare the next budget for the secretariat that governments will need to take forward the implementation of their Paris Agreement,” she added.
The May meeting is a staging-post for the annual climate change conference – COP23 – which will be held in November 2017 and the preparation of its key outcomes. The final budget is also set to be agreed at COP23.
Given that immediate and accelerated climate action is required for governments to reach their climate goals, another key focus in Bonn will be on activities which have a high potential to curb and reduce emissions.
At a “Climate Action Fair”, governments will discuss cross-cutting issues in the urban environment and on land use.
Specifically, they will focus on efforts to mobilise diverse groups of stakeholders, including the private sector, for urban services and agriculture, forestry and other land use activities with high emission reduction potential and sustainable development benefits.
The Climate Action Fair is taking place against the backdrop of continuing global momentum including a growing wealth of policy-making that promises to embed the transition to a low carbon, resilient and sustainable world.
At the May meeting, the Grantham Institute which is part of the London School of Economics, will unveil findings spotlighting the world-wide growth in climate or climate-related laws pre-and post-Paris 2015.
“I look forward to these findings,” said Ms. Espinosa. “In many ways, they are the proverbial ‘proof in the pudding’ as the implementation of both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals hinges on solid national policies that set a clear direction for action,” she added.
Ms. Espinosa said the secretariat was also looking forward to welcoming members of the Fijian Government including the Prime Minister at the May sessions. Fiji will be the COP23 president at the November conference.
The May meeting will also see the first meeting of the newly established Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB). Established by the Paris Agreement, this new and critically important institution will boost capacity building for climate action in developing countries.
On 10 May, a Research Dialogue will take place that will focus on regional climate information and gaps, as well as on science to take stock of and assess progress on mitigation. The dialogue is important, including in light of the 2018 initial stock-take that will focus on the pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
The 10th of May will also see the launch of the Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change. The objective of the competition is to highlight climate action being taken by youth through videos. The competition provides them with a platform to identify their successes and inspire other youth and policy-makers.
The May meeting will see several gender and gender-related events. On 10 May and 11 May, a workshop to develop elements of the gender action plan, in view of getting the plan agreed at COP 23. On 12 May, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will launch its initiative on elevating gender in the context of countries nationally determined contributions (NDCs). NDCs detail what each country will contribute to the global response to climate change.
On 12 May, a special event on Technology Innovation will take place with high-level experts and special guests from around the world. The one-day event will explore how innovation can significantly boost the deployment of climate technologies, and thus the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
On 15 and 16 May, the Action for Climate Empowerment’s (ACE) 5th Dialogue will take place. The dialogue provides a regular forum for countries and stakeholders to share their experiences, exchange ideas, good practices and lessons learned regarding public awareness-raising and the involvement of youth.
On 16 May, the NDC Partnership, launched at COP22 in Marrakech, will hold an event to assist countries in accelerating the implementation of nationally determined contributions.
With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.