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Governments begin talks in Bonn on historic UN Paris climate agreement

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UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner (left); Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy for AllRachel Kyte and Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed signing the Paris Agreement at a ceremony at the UN Headquarters

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner (left); Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy for AllRachel Kyte and Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed signing the Paris Agreement at a ceremony at the UN Headquarters

The Bonn negotiations, which run for two weeks, will see the introduction of a new UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, a new Moroccan Presidency, as well as the first session of the ‘Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement’ (APA).

Few weeks after after 176 countries met to endorse the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement, another round of UN climate negotiations will get underway today with governments looking to the next steps needed to accelerate the implementation of the deal and continue the unprecedented momentum forged in 2015.

Nigeria and other governments are already moving rapidly to bring the agreement into force. The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed and key officials from the Department of Climate Change, will represent the Federal Government. The Bonn UN Climate Change Conference comes just weeks the EU signed the agreement, with several key economies indicating they are ready to join the agreement this year and 16 parties already depositing their instruments of ratification.

Countries that had not yet indicated they would sign the agreement include some of the world’s largest oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria and Kazakhstan. Nigerian officials say, the country would embark on extensive consultation with stakeholders before ratifying the treaty.

In order to ensure the aims and ambitions of the agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions will need to peak soon followed by quick reductions over the years ahead.
In the second half of the century those emissions need to be so low they can be easily absorbed by the Earth’s natural systems such as forests and soils. Building and supporting more resilient societies and economies will also be key.

The Bonn negotiations, which run for two weeks, will see the introduction of a new UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, a new Moroccan Presidency, as well as the first session of the ‘Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement’ (APA).

The session will be largely procedural, paving the way for COP22, which takes place in Marrakesh this November, but there will also be an opportunity to make substantive progress on some key issues. Here governments will begin work on the “rule book” of the Paris Agreement covering how the agreement will work in detail once it enters into force.

Given that immediate and accelerated climate action is required for governments to reach their climate goals, a key focus in Bonn will be on activities, which have a high potential to curb and reduce emissions.

At a “Climate Action Fair”, governments will discuss the social and economic value of carbon, along with how to shift to cleaner public transport and to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles.

The fair will also focus on building resilience to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, with governments discussing best policies in the area of adaptation, exchanging examples of best practices and exploring funding for such activities.

The Paris Agreement, the world’s response to hotter temperatures, rising seas and other impacts of climate change, was reached in December as a major breakthrough in UN climate negotiations, which for years were slowed by disputes between rich and poor countries over who should do what.

Under the agreement, countries set their own targets for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
The targets are not legally binding, but countries must update them every five years.

Already, states face pressure to do more. Scientific analyses show the initial set of targets that countries pledged before Paris don’t match the agreement’s long-term goal to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial times.
Global average temperatures have already climbed by almost 1 degree Celsius. Last year was the hottest on record.



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