Climate action

Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2022

6–16 June 2022 | Bonn, Germany

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC

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When delegates returned to Bonn after three years, the venue was the same, but so much else had changed: two parties are at war, greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, and climate impacts are increasing in severity. Loss and damage is now unavoidable—as are vulnerable countries’ calls for compensation.

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Arrest climate chaos
Photo by Mike Muzurakis

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put pressure on governments and other stakeholders to ensure people’s health and well-being, the urgency of addressing climate change remains. As the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) move back to formal negotiations, it will be up to the subsidiary bodies to advance work prior to the 27th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The agendas for the 56th sessions of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) spanned a broad range of items. These included standing agenda items, a number of items whose consideration has been deferred from previous meetings, especially under SBSTA, and several high-level, contentious issues that will play a key role in defining success at COP 27.

Developing countries had high expectations for progress regarding the Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage and the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation. The Like-minded Developing Countries group, for example, had proposed that these issues not only be addressed in the context of mandated events, but also under dedicated agenda items.

Article 6 (cooperative approaches) of the Paris Agreement also remained a key issue, with delegates set to work out a host of elements, including the process for delivering overall mitigation in global emissions and for implementing a levy on these cooperative activities that will go towards supporting developing countries’ adaptation action (referred to as the “share of proceeds”) . Another key item on the agenda was the joint consideration by the SBI and SBSTA of matters relating to the work programme for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation. The objective was to prepare a decision to be adopted in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Among others, the meeting also constituted a milestone in the Global Stocktake process under the Paris Agreement, hosting the first meeting of the respective technical dialogue, and provide space for delegates to reflect on the latest findings of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The subsidiary bodies meet twice a year. The SBSTA plays an important role as the link between the scientific information provided by expert sources such as the IPCC, and the policy-oriented needs of the COP. SBSTA addresses the impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change, promoting the development and transfer of environmentally-sound technologies and conducting technical work to improve the guidelines for preparing and reviewing greenhouse gas emission inventories from Annex I Parties.

The SBI’s work is at the heart of all implementation issues under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, including transparency, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity-building. The focus of SBI is on finding the best way for parties to provide relevant guidance on stronger action on the ground while making the best use of the increasing role of the specialized bodies and institutions that have been created under the UNFCCC.

The SBSTA and SBI work together on cross-cutting issues that touch on both their areas of expertise. These include the vulnerability of developing countries to climate change and response measures, discussions under the Technology Mechanism, the Adaptation Committee and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts.

SBI 56 and SBSTA 56 convened from 6 to 16 June 2022, at the World Convention Center in Bonn, Germany.

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