UN: next week's climate talks in Bonn can help make Paris 2015 "the success it needs to be" for 7 billion people

Clare Saxon Ghauri
6 March 2014

LONDON: The first UNFCCC climate talks of 2014 begin in Bonn in Germany next week, where there will be an intensified focus on renewables and energy efficiency.

Running from March 10-14, the UN negotiators will set out to find ways to drive urgent climate action around the world ahead of COP21 in Paris next year, where a global climate deal will be agreed.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), stressed the importance of 2014 negotiations such as Bonn for building traction: “Just as climate change impacts are accelerating, 2014 needs to be a year of accelerated action and ambition to check the advance of climate change. Governments and business, cities and citizens are closer than ever to achieving the positive tipping points in economies and societies that get us to a low-carbon, high resilience future. We now need to fully harness those opportunities and that momentum.”

Despite ambitious actions from many governments, including more than 100 countries with renewable energy targets, annual emissions could still rise to more than 55 gigatons of CO2 equivalent by 2020. This figure is well over the 44 gigaton level needed to keep warming to less than 2C, UNFCCC says.

However, it is widely accepted that global temperatures could be kept within a safe limit if businesses and governments drive ambitious climate policy and invest in clean energy. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, greater policy support could actually double the renewable energy share in the world’s energy mix by 2020.

The meeting in Bonn will address how this transition to a low carbon economy and the 2020 emission reduction target can best be achieved through national and international collaboration. Christiana explained: “While renewable energy and energy efficiency are proven technologies, there are barriers to overcome in order to power-up a transformational de-carbonization of the world’s economy. I look forward to seeing governments, specialized organizations and other stakeholders build coalitions to realize this huge potential by overcoming barriers.

“At the ADP meeting in Bonn, nations can learn from each other how best to fast track, scale up and accelerate a transition to a low carbon economy that will help make Paris 2015 the success it needs to be for seven billion people, rising to more than nine billion by 2050.”

Much anticipation for the greatest impact depends on the biggest economies working together to curb emissions. Christiana Figueres said in a news conference yesterday that the improved cooperation between US and China has bolstered her faith in such progress, as well as boosted prospects for Bonn. According to news agency Reuters she said, “I am very hopeful about the US-China conversation and confident that both will be leaders in the agreement.”

Negotiators aim to conclude Bonn with a draft universal 2015 climate deal, which is expected to be on the table ready for discussion at COP20 in Lima, Peru later this year. 

Related news:

China and US agree on phase-down of potent GHGs at G20 Summit

2014 is The Climate Group’s 10th anniversary year

Damian Ryan: COP19 keeps us on track for a climate deal in Paris, if countries use 2014 wisely

By Clare Saxon

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