Participants at the Bonn Climate Change Conference. New data shows a worsening of the climate crisis.
Photo: © UN Climate Change

Bonn Climate Change Conference

This year’s Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB58) was designed to prepare decisions for adoption at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in December. After the conference, observers voiced their disappointment at its outcome.

More than 4,800 participants from all over the world met at the Bonn Climate Conference from the 5th–15th June 2023 to lay the groundwork for the political decisions required at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at the end of the year. 

Anthropogenic global warming has increased at an “unprecedented speed” since the last major climate system assessment two years ago, a recent analysis by a team of scientists warns. The Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) was among the institutions which published the analysis for the conference in June. 

Global stocktake dialogue

In Bonn, government delegates, observers and experts took part in the stocktake’s third and final technical dialogue, which was comprised of a series of roundtables and events spread across six days. They discussed how to accelerate collective progress on mitigation, including response measures, adaptation, loss and damage, and means of implementation (climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building).

In early September, the co-facilitators of the technical dialogue are to publish a synthesis report, capturing the key findings of the three meetings of the dialogues. It will contain technical information, good practices and lessons learned to help Parties and non-Party stakeholders identify what to do to course-correct and achieve the Paris Agreement goals.

Other discussions and events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference focused on climate finance, notably the provision of adequate and predictable financial support to developing countries for climate action, including setting a new collective quantified goal on climate finance in 2024. On the global goal on adaptation, Parties agreed on structural elements for a Dubai decision.

Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage

The second Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage that took place at the Bonn Climate Change Conference provided useful information to advance the work of the Transitional Committee on the operationalisation of the funding arrangements and the new fund for responding to loss and damage. Discussions focused on maximising support from existing funding arrangements, including considerations on coherence, complementarity and coordination. The Transitional Committee will make recommendations for consideration and adoption at COP28 on how to operationalise the new loss and damage fund and funding arrangements.

Insufficient climate finance plans

At the conclusion of the Bonn Climate Conference, the international relief organisation CARE publicised a new study on the insufficient climate finance plans of the industrial nations. The analysis demonstrates that only ten of the 26 industrial nations reviewed refer to target figures for climate finance in their latest biannual reports: Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the USA and the European Commission. In all, these commitments amount to a mere approx. 13.3 billion euros of adaptation finance per year – falling way behind the agreed 46 billion euros (50 billion US dollars). 

Observers disappointed at outcome

The intermediate negotiations have achieved only a formal minimum consensus, states the non-governmental organisation Germanwatch after two weeks of climate talks in Bonn.

Germanwatch maintains that never before have climate negotiations discussed implementation measures for global climate protection efforts in such concrete terms. Nevertheless, after almost two weeks of intense negotiations, the results are sobering. “The climate negotiations have reached the implementation phase and are no longer discussing frameworks and rule books. Even so, the meeting in Bonn has only achieved a formal minimum consensus. Progress has been made which could formally enable success at the next world climate conference, COP28. But the essential preliminary talks made hardly any progress. Major breakthroughs are not reckoned with in the intermediate negotiations, but they also ought to be prepared in terms of substance,” comments Christoph Bals, Policy Director at Germanwatch.

“Some countries, including the COP Presidency of the United Arab Emirates, want to prevent the necessary phasing out of coal, oil and gas becoming a focal aspect of talks. This would jeopardise the massive profits which, in particular, the oil and gas exporting countries have made in the last two years. As yet, they are above all being supported by the newly emerging economies, which seek to avoid stringent climate protection provisions for themselves,” Bals maintains. 

COP28 will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from the 30th November to the 12th  December this year. It will be preceded by four Regional Climate Weeks:

  • Africa Climate Week, 4th–8th September in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Middle East and North Africa Climate Week, 8th–12th October in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week, 23rd–27th October in Panama City, Panama
  • Asia-Pacific Climate Week, in Johor, Malaysia, dates to be announced soon

Ines Lechner, editor, Rural 21

More information:

News Comments

Add a comment


Name is required!

Enter valid name

Valid email is required!

Enter valid email address

Comment is required!

Google Captcha Is Required!

You have reached the limit for comments!

* These fields are required.

Be the First to Comment