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High Expectations of Bonn Conference on Climate Change

The Bonn Climate Change Conference from 30 April to 10 May 2018 has two critical agendas (i) writing implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement and (ii) participate in the Talanoa Dialogue. This article provides a brief summary of the two agendas.

Implementing guidelines of the Paris Agreement

A top priority of the Fiji Presidency at COP 23 is preparing the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement also known as the

“Paris rulebook”. These guidelines help putting the Paris Agreement into practice and establish how each country member to the Paris Agreement will implement its requirements.

The guidelines must enable country members to communicate, report, review and strengthen climate action in a way that is transparent and accountable to the international community. Clear guidelines will enable a more predictable transformation to a low-carbon and climate-resilient world.

The main sticking points include:

  • Designing rules that ensure all countries measure their emissions, financial support and other activities consistently;

  • Providing flexibility for Parties that need it without reverting to a bifurcated approach (that is, different sets of guidelines for developed and developing countries);

  • Clarifying the functions of the different processes under the Paris Agreement and identifying the most appropriate platforms to advance specific issues (for example, when the limits to adaptation in impacted countries are breached and communities face permanent loss and damage);

  • Designing the transparency and accountability regime under the Paris Agreement in a coherent and effective manner.

Talanoa dialogue

The Paris Agreement provides for progress assessments (“stocktakes”) every five years in order to ensure that Parties to the agreement turn commitment into concrete action and continue to regularly increase their ambition. The first full global stocktake will occur in 2023 in order to prepare for a new round of climate commitments, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), by 2025. However, Parties felt it was important to initiate this cycle prior to the agreement’s anticipated entry into force in 2020, and so a process called the Talanoa Dialogue (initially called a facilitative dialogue) launched at COP 23 in Bonn under the Fiji Presidency to serve as an initial stocktaking exercise.

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