Tensions emerge over timetable for raising climate ambition at Bonn

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier



As negotiators from 195 countries head to Bonn, Germany, for annual climate talks, tensions are emerging over the timetable for raising ambition.


One of the key outcomes due from the two-week meeting is to agree the format for an event known as the “facilitative dialogue” in 2018. It is the first political moment for leaders to start closing the gap between the goals of the Paris accord and voluntary national contributions.

A proposal from Fiji, which is presiding over the talks, and last year’s host Morocco, said this should result in “greater confidence, courage and enhanced ambition”.

China, India and other emerging economies have made clear they will not accept any pressure on countries to ramp up their national targets, however.

“This should be a dialogue, not a negotiation,” said Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate envoy said at a conference in Beijing this week. “The objective is for countries to share their best practices, raise their demands in fighting climate change, ultimately facilitate global support – especially from developed countries – for developing countries.”

Some are expected to argue that the event should result in specific pledges from countries to increase their efforts.

South Africa’s minister of environmental affairs, Edna Molewa, said in a press release mid October after meeting with the EU’s ambassador: “we have … committed to clarifying the modalities for the 2018 facilitative dialogue aimed at increasing ambition in the pre-2020 and post-2020 years through the revisions on NDCs [national climate plans] where possible.”

But Scroll.in reported a group known as the like-minded developing countries is ready to fight any stipulation that the dialogue should raise ambition. The Fijian proposal is “not acceptable”, one anonymous Indian negotiator told the news outlet.

Another source from the like-minded group, which includes Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Indonesia, told Scroll.in: “Countries did not agree to this process being intrusive. Parties did not mandate the Presidency to make it prescriptive. It is not supposed to tell us how to do things and what to do. It is to only help us understand each other’s contributions. Countries can voluntarily decide to increase their contributions at any time but cannot be coerced to do so.”



No surprise there then!

The UN’s Emissions Gap Report just published shows how little difference cutting US and EU emissions can make.





Even if the rest of the world manages to avoid increasing emissions any further, emission totals will still remain well above the 49GtCO2e measured in 2010.

The Paris Agreement itself specifically stated that, even if all of the INDCs were carried out, global emissions would rise to 55 GtCO2e by 2030. Currently they stand at 51.9 GtCO2e.



November 5, 2017 at 01:39PM

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