Daily Tck: Day 8 at the Bonn climate change conference

Bonn climate change conference

Youth activists host their own world cup, pitching Team Carbon against Team Net Zero. Creative Commons: Adopt a Negotiator, 2014

Day 8, Bonn climate change conference

Thursday’s big event in Bonn (and everywhere) was the World Cup kicking off in Brazil; and the co-chairs of negotiations on the 2015 agreement used the timing of Thursday’s game to full advantage. With just enough time to for a short but meaningful stocktaking on progress made thus far, the co-chairs surveyed governments’ views on how to move from the substance-focused ‘contact’ group meetings – where countries have shared views on how issues like mitigation and climate finance could fit into the under-construction-deal – to text-based negotiations where they might be able to engage each-other and get closer to delivering a draft negotiating text by year’s end.

How to get to the a draft deal is the crux, and at this stage a bit polarizing. Some countries are eager to have all of the expressed views compiled into a massive text, and then whittle them down. While this might be the most accurate way to include countries’ positions, it also carries the risk repeating a Copenhagen-like situation where the text was too unwieldy to manage and everything broke down.

Others prefer the co-chairs interpret what countries have said and asked for into their own words, and actively identify where there’s agreement and where there’s not. While in theory this could be more manageable and efficient, if co-chairs summarize wrong, they could lose the trust needed to move everything forward.

A lot of our partners in Bonn are trying to find a middle road – where the co-chairs do their summary, but with each piece linked to a compilation document that contains all the ideas and who proposed them.

This could be the biggest issue (other than football matches) keeping negotiators going. – and those of us here tracking and pushing them – awake through the end of this round of talks on Sunday. But it’s not the only issue. There’s still a lot of work to do on fleshing out what will be included in countries’ ‘intended nationally determined contributions.’

Governments met for a second time to discuss ways of scaling up climate finance – and somehow they’re still sure how to do it. Important issues on the UNFCCC’s ongoing work also continue to be discussed and debated in meetings of the subsidiary bodies.

Resources & Tools

From our partners

Our partners also had world cup fever today, but they used the occasion to highlight how there are bigger games afoot than FiFA. Youth activists were calling on negotiators to choose sides between their fossil fuel dependencies, and a clean and equitable future.

They held a football match between two opposing teams. “Team Carbon, strongly supported by the fossil fuel industry…stepped onto the field in the face of massive popular opposition from Team Net Zero, who are enjoying wide and diverse popular support”, noted the official match commentators. Here are a few pics of the action

Speaking of Team Net Zero, governments and civil society alike packed a room to learn about Architecture2030’s Roadmap to Zero Emissions. We took some video clips of the event and will share them with you tomorrow.

In the news

Germany currently pushing for more than 40% emissions reductions targets for 2030 in an EU council meeting as we speak. Here is a memo of what they are trying to achieve.

Ukraine is no longer allowed to cooperate with Russia at the UN climate talks, ending one of the firmest bonds around the negotiating table.

Australian PM Tony Abbott declined the invitation from Ban Ki-moon to attend the September Climate Leaders Summit. There’s still hope for New Zealand PM John Key, who rejected the possibility of joining Australia’s anti-climate alliance.

The Guardian has produced a frightening account of the potential impacts of El Nino. According to the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, there is currently a 90 percent chance of El Nino striking this year.

Vicki Arroyo and Dan Kahan had a ripping debate today on Ted Ideas today over how we need to change the way we communicate climate change.


Our Trackers have been getting into the spirit of the World Cup, and Raquel Rosenbergpresented this Portuguese piece, in homage to her home and the ongoing Global Fossil Fuel crisis within the negotiations.

Michalina Golinczak looked into the most positive shift toward net Zero Emissions we have seen in a long time, as she describes the rhetorical shift to Zero we have seen in the talks this week.

Lastly, CAN International is posting daily ECO newsletters with reflections and advice from civil society aimed at negotiators. 

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