What impact will the Bonn climate change talks have?

Technology Eye | May. 30, 2016

A United Nations meeting on how to implement a landmark agreement on limiting global warming ended in Bonn, Germany, last week.

Many nations said the talks marked an end to euphoria around last December's Paris Agreement, in which almost 200 nations agreed a sweeping plan to end global dependence on fossil fuels to limit rising temperatures.

Here is what leading climate change experts had to say about the complex task ahead:

Segolene Royal, President of the COP21 United Nations climate change conference and French minister of the environment

"Countries with different levels of development and from different regions and often differing views on many issues, found a common vision in Paris.

"That work and that vision has continued, and continued positively here in Bonn, as countries look towards the next major milestone event in Marrakech in November."

Amjad Abudulla chief negotiator for the alliance of small island states

"We made progress here, but it will be important for us to regain the sense of urgency that served us so well in Paris.

"Climate change hasn't gone away just because we have an agreement, in fact it is clear that the crisis is getting worse by the day.

"Now our collective responsibility is to take the actions needed to implement the agreement, including helping vulnerable communities adapt to impacts that can no longer be avoided."

European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete attends the first EU-Algeria Energy Business Forum in Algiers, Algeria May 24, 2016.REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Miguel Arias Canete, European Union climate action and energy commissioner

"Bonn showed that we are moving from questions of principle to action: from the what to the how.

"The key to this is respecting the political balance of the Paris Agreement by moving forward together on all elements.

"At the same time, all countries must put in place policies and measures to deliver on their pledges.

"In the EU ... we have already started our homework of implementing the Paris Agreement by bringing forward legislation and putting in place the policies needed for the low-carbon transition."

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and policy for the union of concerned scientists

"After a slow start, the climate negotiations in Bonn picked up pace this week, and the path to a successful climate summit in Marrakech this November is clearer than it was two weeks ago.

"But there is much work ahead if we are to get the meaningful actions needed to start to close the substantial gap between the national commitments now on the table and the much greater level of ambition needed to give us a fighting chance of meeting the temperature limitation goals in the Paris Agreement.

"We also need to ramp up support for efforts to help vulnerable countries deal with the mounting impacts of climate change that are ever more evident all over the world."

Teresa Anderson, ActionAid's climate change policy officer

"Now that we are over the political hurdle of Paris, we must be honest about the planetary crisis that we still need to - and can - overcome.

"On our road to the next COP in Marrakech in a few months' time, we need to go back and do our homework.

"We need to come up with ways and finance to reach the 1.5° (degrees Celsius) goal without destroying the lives of the very people the target is supposed to protect."

Sven Harmeling, Care International's climate change advocacy coordinator

"The Paris spirit is alive, but the implementation of the new climate deal remains a challenge.

"Some countries seem to be reverting back into their old position, questioning the positive processes started in Paris.

"Achieving the 1.5 (degrees Celsius) target will become extremely difficult, if countries are not able to close the gap between their ambition and actual climate actions."

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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