Climate talks to open in Bonn Monday; experts call for reducing emissions

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UNITED NATIONS, Nov 5 (APP):One year after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change, a global climate conference is set to kick off on Monday in the German city of Bonn, with experts stressing steps to reduce emissions.
“While Paris represented one of those moments where the best of humanity achieved an agreement so important to our collective futures, Bonn represents how we will move forward to fulfill its promise”, the Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, said.
“We are running out of time to turn things around. To do so, we must significantly increase our efforts to reduce emissions and our carbon footprints,” she added.
The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015 in the French capital after which it is named, calls on countries to combat climate change by limiting the rise of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and strive not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius.
A year ago, the Marrakech Climate Conference concluded with the Marrakech Action Proclamation, for our climate and sustainable development, in which the UNFCCC States Parties affirmed their “commitment” to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. Today, 169 Parties have ratified the Agreement.
At the Bonn Conference, informally known as COP 23, countries will seek to move forward in completing the rule book for operationalizing the Paris Agreement.
Up to 25,000 people are expected to attend the talks, which will be presided over by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji ” the first time that a small island nation will be at the helm of a major international climate conference. Participants will include diplomats from 195 nations, as well as scientists, lobbyists and environmentalists.
The United States, which has announced its intention to pull out of the landmark Paris climate accord, will be represented by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders are expected to fly to Bonn toward the end of the summit to give the talks a final push and signal their commitment to fighting climate change.
At Paris, diplomats did not agree on the details of how their nations will reach the ambitious goal set by the agreement. The Bonn talks will flesh out the rule book that countries have to abide by.
This includes coming up with international standards for how to measure carbon emissions, to make sure that one nation’s efforts can be compare to another’s. A second debate centers around how countries take stock of what’s been achieved and set new, more ambitious goals for curbing carbon emissions after 2020.
The third big issue concerns money. Experts agree that shifting economies away from fossil fuels and preparing countries for some of the inevitable consequences of climate change will require vast financial resources” including some from the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump, which is doubtful about man-made climate change.
Organizing a massive global conference in Fiji would have strained the Pacific nation’s resources and posed a travel nightmare for thousands of delegates. Germany offered to host the talks in Bonn, the country’s former capital, because it has ample conference space and is already home to the U.N. climate change agency.
Still, they are going to miss the sunshine of Fiji. The weather in Bonn is generally dreary at best in November.
Germany says the two-week talks will as environmentally friendly as possible. The country is setting aside part of the 117 million euro ($136.3 million) budget for a fleet of bicycles and electric buses to ferry people between venues.
Each participant will receive a bottle to fill with tap water” a move organizers say will save half a million plastic cups.
Germany’s environment ministry is also investing in renewable energy projects to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by people from all over the world flying into Bonn for the talks.