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Bonn climate talks

ADP Co-Chair Kishan Kumarsingh. Photo Credit: IISD Reporting Service

There are just two days of negotiations left, and much work remains. On Thursday afternoon, the talks’ two co-chairs took stock of how far the negotiations had moved since the start of this session, offering government negotiators a stern reality check. Their main tasks were to deliver clarity of what countries’ climate action commitments should include, and clarity on how to ramp-up climate action before those commitment periods take effect (ie between now and 2020, or ‘pre-2020 ambition’). But with time quickly running out, co-chair Artur Runge-Metzger acknowledged that the “ambition to finalise the two decisions is no longer possible in Bonn, they will have to be finalised in Lima;” when countries meet again at COP20 in December. He stressed that while “extensive exchanges” had taken place on many issues, countries had “not touched on many important things” and that co-operation must accelerate in the coming days.

Much of the current frustration in Bonn focuses on delegates attempts to find common ground on the pledges they will submit as part of the 2015 global climate agreement – their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). After discussions yesterday were characterised by some as “demoralising”, divisions between countries remained strong throughout the morning. Frustrated, co-chair Kishan Kumarsingh called on delegates to “look yourselves in the eye; ask yourself if we are on track.”

While some negotiators characterized the slow pace of progress as an opportunity to brainstorm, share ideas and better understand where different countries were coming from on their national pledges, our partners are ramping up pressure to turn ‘brainstorming’ and idea-sharing into something far more concrete.

NGOs are also calling on governments to hasten progress on pre-2020 ambition; namely by ratifying the much fought for second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. Earlier in the week, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said only 18 countries have ratified to date – and only one of those countries came from the developed world. Our partners warned that the Kyoto Protocol “languishes in legal limbo” and called on other countries to “follow the lead of these 18 Parties and ratify”, ensuring a future for what many see as a vital tool for ramping up pre-2020 ambition.

Meanwhile in Brussels, EU Heads of Government met this afternoon for a highly-anticipated meeting that could decide the contents of the bloc’s own INDC; making it the first on the table in the context of a 2015 agreement. However, divisions within the EU mean it’s still too soon to tell whether the decision in Brussels could help unlock ambition in Bonn. Talking to RTCC, Chilean envoy, Andrew Pirazzoli stressed that what “the EU decides will set the tone for all the developed countries”. Meanwhile Quamrul Choudhury, lead negotiator for Bangladesh said “if the EU takes a lead and raises ambition then reaching a deal in Paris is easy.” With so much at stake, all eyes will be on Brussels tomorrow, when the decision is expected to be announced.

We will be on the ground in Bonn over the next week, providing you with all the latest from the conference in regular Daily TCK emails.

You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you want to connect with the team in Bonn or if you have anything to be considered for our Daily TCK round-ups please get in touch


From our partners and allies

Today’s ECO newsletter focused on the EU 2030 negotiations, the Kyoto Protocol and equity

CARE are calling on Europe to support strong 2030 climate and energy targets.

Check out the iisd’s rundown of yesterday’s talks in Bonn, and their live photo-blog from today’s talks.

In the news

Peru earned a lot of attention for suggesting it could make a “substantial” pledge to the Green Climate Fund before COP20 to inject fresh momentum into international negotiations. Next month (19th-20th) the Green Climate Fund will host a pledging conference, where countries are expected to help fill the shortfall in climate finance.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Peru’s Minister for Environment, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and president of COP20 says he is optimistic that an agreement can be reached.

The Irish Times joined a chorus of voices reporting that finance could be a major sticking point in the negotiations.

All eyes are on the EU as ministers meet to agree the bloc’s climate and energy targets to 2030. News reports around this have examined the role of those countries pushing for stronger targets, as well as those threatening to undermine the deal. RTCC also looks at the decision in light of the negotiations in Bonn and the Guardian published a handy run-down of the key issues in five handy graphs.

European Voice is also providing a running commentary of the meeting.

Follow the talks

You can follow the UN Climate Talks in Bonn via Twitter using the hashtags: #ClimateAction,#ADP2014, #Paris2015.