Bonn Conference: Summary of the Negotiations for June 10, 2015

Bhagya Wickramasinghe

The facilitated groups under the ADP convened on: work stream 2 (pre-2020 ambition), general/ objective and implementation and compliance; mitigation and finance; along with procedural and institutional provisions. There were also informal consultation under SBI and the SBSTA.


The Federal Republic of Ethiopia submitted its new climate action plan to the UNFCCC. Along with the INDC submitted by Ethiopia, to date there are 40 countries which have submitted their climate action plans, ahead of the climate change agreement to be reached in December 2015 in Paris.

The Paris Agreement

The focus of Bonn session has been the new climate agreement that would come to effect in 2020. The agreement is intended to empower all countries to take action to prevent the global temperature from raising above 2oC.

The focus of the day was on Clean Development Mechanism.

The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has a significant role to play in terms of the new agreement . It was noted that even though progress until now has been very slow, the existing protocol can act as a foundation for the new agreement rather than starting from the beginning.

Press Conference by the UNFCCC on World Wide Views (WWViews )

One of the important focuses of the day was the presentation of findings of the WWViews, on the Global Citizens Climate Change Consultation.

(c) IISD

The World Wide Views on Climate and Energy was conducted on the June 06, involving citizens over the world. At the conference the organisers of the WWViews presented their initial findings. This was noted to be the “largest ever citizen concentration”. The consultations have been conducted on a single day starting in 75 countries which involved people selected demographically representing of their countries. This is an important initiative which involves and ensures citizen participation, where many countries deliberated on the new agreement in Paris, and on mechanisms to combat climate change.

Some of the noteworthy findings were as presented at the press conference were:

  • 80% of the citizens are concerned about climate change and more citizens from the developing countries are more concerned about climate change.
  • Over 90% have agreed that the new agreement should have a long term goal of zero emissions at the end of the century
  • 67% said that the agreement should be legally binding for all countries, while 17% said that it should be a legal requirement only for the developed and emerging nations.

Facilitated Groups under ADP

The facilitated group held negotiations on objectives. The negotiations commenced with the comments of the Co- Facilitator Diann Black- Layne. The parties again commented on the need to deal with the fact that there are certain parties who do not see the need to include this section at all (raised by US and Australia). Many suggestions were to the effect that the sections should be concise and precise. It was suggested by Brazil that the section should also set out the legal obligations while Tuvalu was for a section on general objectives and for setting out long-term and short-term goals on GHG concentration. EU stated that the table does not include a just transition to low GHG economies, China’s suggestion was using “differentiated commitments/ contributions”.

With reference to implementation and compliance, the Co-facilitator introduced a table with the proposals of the parties for dealing with the section, based on the version of 4th of June.

Negotitators form EU, Columbia and Norway suggested that the version of the 8thJune should be used at further negotiation, while Venezuela suggested to address the legal form, first.

Many of the countries were in agreement that a compliance arrangement /committee/body should be included as a section in the core agreement. The countries also deliberated on the nature of the compliance mechanism: whether it should be a facilitative mechanism or a mechanism with two branches to cover legal obligations and obligations that are not legally binding. Sudan, Malaysia and India supported a differentiation section.

With reference to workstream 2, the co-facilitator invited the parities to provide their views on the documents of 9th June. On behalf of the G77/China and Columbia and Bangladesh pointed out the missing elements such as: indigenous peoples’ knowledge and practices, economic diversification and response measures.

Many developing countries suggested using the input document as the basis for the work ahead.

In terms of mitigation, many parties noted the linkages to other sections of the agreement, and many parties also supported Brazil’s suggestion to clarify the options on differentiation.

In terms of the time frame: the co-facilitator presented the technical suggestions developed as a response to the request of a tool for further discussion on this section.

On finance: there were further amendments based on the previous discussions. G-77/ China noted that finance is a facilitator and an incentive for further action and suggested that Convention Article 4.7 on implementation of developing countries; commitments is paramount in addressing BBDR.

Negotiations on finance continued with reference to scale and sources of finance, and the goals of a climate finance.

The Subsidiary Bodies

The Contact Groups – 2013-2015 Review

The contact group discussed the elements of the draft conclusions and noted the contributions of the

IPCC and the other experts. There was no consensus as to the sections and agreement was reached to further discuss the matter relating to non-procedural paragraphs, at the SB 43.

In terms of response measures the co-facilitator informed that the informal discussions have resulted in recommendations for the draft conclusions and that the parties can go forward on the issue.

The conclusions of the experts meetings on the margins of the conference were:

  • Climate funds can pay a transformative role in greening the economies of the developing countries
  • The climate funds are central in assisting the world to reach the goal of maximum 2 celcius global average temperature rise.

As an example the experts showcased the Climate Investment funds (CIF) which finance projects in 70 countries. It was noted by Dechen Tsering, Head of Finance, Technology and Capacity Building with the UNFCCC secretariat, that, ““Annual public and private flows from developed to developing countries ranged from USD 40 to USD 175 billion in 2011-2012, from a variety of sources and sources. All of the existing funds are important to scale up the financing to meet the USD 100 billion pledged to developing countries by 2020 and beyond.” (UNFCCC, Newsroom)



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About the Author
Bhagya Wickramasinghe

Bhagya is an attorney-at-law, and a researcher. She focuses on policy and legal research on climate change, and environment, environmental rights, human rights, and sustainable development.