Climate Change

Bonn climate meet kicks off implementation of Paris Agreement

This is the first all-party meet since the Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015

 
By Vijeta Rattani
Last Updated: Tuesday 17 May 2016

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres said the time had come to go beyond concepts and theories and turn the agreement into reality (Photo courtesy: iisd.ca)

COP President Ségolène Royal presided over the opening plenary at the Bonn climate meet on May 16 which marks the beginning of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. 

In her opening remarks, Royal called on the negotiators to become "builders and facilitators" in order to make the Paris Agreement a true success. She reiterated that the Paris Agreement was the best way of addressing the climate change challenge. "Since the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, our priority is to build on the ambitious, balanced and fair compromises which were reached last December, in order to reinforce action on the ground. The foundations have been laid, it is now up to us build our common house (sic),” she said.

While talking about countries taking domestic action to cope with climate change, she lauded India’s efforts for setting up of a huge solar initiative. She also expressed satisfaction that green funding around the world was "catching pace". But she remarked that droughts, unseasonal rains, climate refugees and extreme weather events were causes of despair and to address these, "the rich must show the way".

Royal, who is the French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, has replaced Laurent Fabius, former president of COP21. She was accompanied by the incoming president of COP22, Salaheddine Mezouar, who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco, and outgoing UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres.

Figueres said the time had come to go beyond concepts and theories and turn the agreement into reality. The new reality, she stated, “must protect the most poor and vulnerable in every country and must de-couple growth with emissions”. 

Mezouar, on his part, reassured the delegates of trust and cooperation and said that he was convinced of the success of COP22 to be held in Marrakesh in November 2016. He talked of finance as a significant component and suggested that the governments, along with public and private financial institutions, consider the creation of a “Fast Track Facility” for concrete and predictable delivery of finance goals.

Negotiating groups also made their statements on the way forward. Thailand, on behalf of G-77 and China, highlighted the need for giving balanced treatment to all issues in the Paris Agreement. It also asked rich countries to take the lead in accordance with their historical responsibility and spoke about the need for enhancing pre-2020 actions and coordination among SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation), SBSTA (Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice) and Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA).

India, while speaking on behalf of the BASIC group, mentioned the importance of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR) in guiding the implementation of the new agreement. India also pointed out that the concepts of sustainable lifestyle and climate justice required critical attention and great responsibility, especially on the part of the developed countries. It talked of the pressing need to upscale pre-2020 ambitions till the Paris Agreement comes into force and urged developed countries to revisit their pledges and close the mitigation gap.

Statements were also made by civil society groups among others, urging parties to carry on the spirit of Paris and give a balanced treatment to all outstanding issues in the Paris Agreement.                                                                                                        

 

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