Thursday, 14 December 2017

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UN Climate Conference: Delegates agree on way forward

COP23 high-level plenary, Secretary-General António Guterres with a boy from Fiji. (DPI/Ariel Alexovich)

Bonn, 20 November 2017 - The Paris Agreement remains on track. Talks in the German city of Bonn went on for an additional twelve hours late on Friday night as participants reached an agreement to launch the next steps towards a more ambitious climate action plan before 2020.

Backed by a wide range of positive announcements from governments, cities, states, regions, companies and civil society, delegates from over 190 countries agreed to a 12-month engagement focusing on ‘Where are we, where do we want to go and how do we get there?’

The Paris Agreement's central goal is keep the global average temperature rise below 2 Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5—the lower limit is deemed crucial for survival by many small islands and vulnerable countries.

Frank Bainimarama, President of the conference also known as ‘COP23’ and Prime Minister of Fiji, said: “I’m very pleased that COP23 has been such a success, especially given the challenge to the multilateral consensus for decisive climate action. We have done the job we were given to do, which is to advance the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement”.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat which hosted the Conference with support from the Government of Germany, said: “The Conference has delivered a launch-pad that can take us to that next stage of higher ambition. It has also advanced the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement so that by 2018 it can truly support sustained international cooperation and national efforts”, she said.

The months ahead will set the stage in Poland in 2018 for the revising upwards of national climate action plans needed to put the world on track to meet pre-2020 ambition and the long-term goals of the two-year old Paris Agreement.

Outcomes and Highlights of the 2017 UN Climate Conference

The COP23 President and the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary outlined some highlights from the 2017 UN climate conference as a result of the negotiations:

  • Long-term Finance – Countries welcomed progress but also urged greater efforts to deliver the agreed USD 100 Billion per year by 2020 for support to developing countries to take climate action
  • Adaptation Fund Exceeds 2017 Target – The target for funding this year was $80 million, but funding announcements including by Germany and Italy has exceed this by over $13 million taking the total to $93.3 million
  • Historic Breakthrough in Agriculture – there was an historic political breakthrough in respect to agriculture that may lead to a faster and more coordinated response by nations to address a sector that is the second biggest emitter after energy
  • Gender Action Plan –The crucial role of women in combating climate change will be formally supported through the plan. This is important given that women tend to be especially vulnerable to climate change impacts and should not be excluded from decision-making regarding actions and solutions. The Plan aims to make women part of all climate change projects and decisions internationally and nationally


For a more comprehensive selection of announcements made during COP23 please go to https://cop23.unfccc.int/ and https://cop23.com.fj/

 

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