Last updateSam, 31 Jan 2015 7pm

Govts to meet in Bonn to continue work on 2015 Paris climate agreement

Lusaka, Zambia - This year's UN climate change negotiations kick off in the German city of Bonn next week, marking the beginning of an intense year of conferences and summits designed to lead to a meaningful, universal agreement in Paris in late 2015.

According to the UN climate change secretariat, the five-day meeting, beginning 10 March, will work towards the new global climate agreement, to enter into force from 2020, and work to find ways to boost immediate, effective climate action.

A central focus of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) meeting in Bonn will be to identify ways to ramp up national and international cooperative efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions for the period before 2020, after which the new agreement is to enter into force.

Special attention will be given to translating the potential of renewable energy, such as solar and wind, and energy efficiency into concrete, action-oriented outcomes, the secretariat said.

'We are at the highest level of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere for the last 800,000 years and we have not yet started to bend that curve back down again - this is the urgency of the challenge,' Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, said Wednesday in a statement.

'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.'

A central task of the meeting will also be to further elaborate elements for a draft universal 2015 climate agreement. The key functions of the new agreement will be curbing greenhouse gas emissions; adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change; mobilizing the needed finance, technology, capacity-building support to developing countries; and transparency of action and support in the period after 2020.

'Governments have agreed to begin putting forward formal contributions as of March 2015. In just over nine months, the first draft of a 2015 global climate agreement will be on the table for discussion at the next annual UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. Most of the negotiated content of the Paris agreement needs to be ready by COP 20 (Conference of Parties) in Lima, and we need to reach a common understanding of how individual components of this new agreement will operate for that to happen,' said Figueres.

According to UNFCCC, at the March meeting, governments will begin to identify the information that they will provide when putting forward their nationally determined contributions.

Figueres said it was increasingly clear that a global solution to the complex set of risks posed by climate change requires action from all groups: governments at every level, private sector and investors, and civil society.

'2014 is the year when intention must translate into action. The world is rich with inspiring and practical solutions to the dilemma of decoupling growth and economic activity from unsustainable levels of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that harm human health, perpetuate poverty and put our collective future at risk. Excellent examples of action show it is within our reach to create a safer future,' Figueres stated.

'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.'

Pana 07/08/2014