Bonn offers hope for the planet

Bonn offers hope for the planet

Editorial Staff
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The German city, home to the UNFCCC, the UN secretariat that monitors the implementation of the Rio framework convention on climate change, is hosting the twenty-third annual conference of parties to the convention. The event, which lasts until 17 November and is chaired by Fiji, brings together scientists and government bodies drawing up an action plan to implement the 2015 Paris agreement. This will receive final approval at next year's conference, to be held in Poland

Officially entitled the twenty-third conference of the parties, the Bonn event is sponsored by the United Nations. Its role is to monitor the implementation by the 195 signatories of the Paris climate agreement, by defining a framework of practical initiatives to combat the effects of global warming. One of the main Paris commitments was to keep the average global temperature increase to below two degrees. Fiji is chairing the conference because, like other small island nations, it has the most to lose if sea levels rise. The country’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, called for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions: «The human suffering caused by intensifying hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods and threats to food security caused by climate change means there is no time to waste».

Roadmap sets more specific targets

The conference will draw up guidelines, currently in draft form, to be approved by next year’s conference in Poland. The Paris agreement will then come into force in 2020. The Bonn delegates will also produce a roadmap for the 'facilitative dialog' used to measure progress towards the Paris goals, and define the process for reviewing this in 2030. The scientists will work on a detailed set of rules to help signatories put the agreement into practice and define how they notify and verify their progress. There have already been divergences of approach in this respect, with China, India and other emerging economies saying that they will not accept pressure from the rest of the world.