Negotiators from nearly 200 countries will meet in Bonn on Monday for climate talks tasked with rekindling momentum in the fight against global warming, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine overshadows the threat of rising shows.
The conference will pave the way for a new round of major UN talks later this year in Egypt.
It will also be an opportunity to test the resolve of nations facing a catalog of crises, including escalating climate impacts, geopolitical tensions, bloodshed in Ukraine and the threat of a devastating global food crisis.
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“Climate change is not an agenda we can afford to push back on our global agenda,” outgoing UN climate change chief Patricia Espinosa said ahead of the meeting.
She said it was imperative that nations arrive at the UN COP27 meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh in November prepared to show that they are taking “bold and concrete steps – backed by specific plans – to achieve the urgent and transformational climate ambition that we simply need to see before it’s too late.”
Governments have already recognized that climate change is a serious threat to humanity and the planet, and have called for immediate action to reduce fossil fuel emissions and prepare for the accelerating impacts of warming.
The summary of this year’s landmark climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that any further delay in action “will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a future livable and sustainable for all”.
But as things stand, the world is unlikely to be able to meet the Paris climate agreement commitment to limit warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above global warming. preindustrial levels.
“There’s this disconnect between scientific evidence of a brewing global crisis, a potential rush to unmanageable climate impact, and inaction,” Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate, told AFP. ImpactResearch.
“It is a deep concern.”
The world has warmed by nearly 1.2C so far, enough to usher in a crescendo of deadly heat waves, floods and storm surges made worse by rising seas.
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While the June 6-16 conference in Bonn is a largely technical meeting aimed at preparing Egypt, there are a number of key issues to discuss.
Particular emphasis will be placed on funding wealthy polluters to help vulnerable developing countries least responsible for global warming cope with its increasingly fierce consequences.
The promise of $100 billion a year from 2020 to help them adapt to a warming world has still not been fulfilled.
Meanwhile, there are growing calls for “loss and damage” funding for countries already hit by devastating climate impacts, with a specific dialogue on the topic scheduled for this week.
The Alliance of Small Island States has warned that the Bonn conference must not be “just another chat room”, calling for a “clear view” on when and how this funding will be in place.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned last week that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could set back the fight against the climate crisis.
“But I think this war has demonstrated one thing: how fragile the world is in its dependence on fossil fuels,” he added.
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The invasion prompted countries, particularly in Europe, to scramble to shore up their energy supplies. It also caused a spike in wheat and fertilizer prices.
Fears of a food crisis have intensified in recent weeks as India decided to ban wheat exports after the hottest March and April on record – largely attributed to climate change – hit the crops.
An opportunity to show political will presents itself on Wednesday when the European Parliament votes on several highly controversial elements of the bloc’s sprawling “Fit for 55” climate plan.
EU member states have set themselves the target of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and achieving carbon neutrality for the continent by 2050.
In May, an analysis by non-profit groups found that countries in the G20 group of major economies had yet to tighten their greenhouse gas reduction targets, despite agreeing to revise their plans. .
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Last year in Glasgow, countries made new pledges to cut methane emissions, halt deforestation and other measures which, in addition to existing national carbon-cutting pledges, could theoretically limit warming to less than 2°C, Rockstrom said.
But that means meetings this year must be about “accountability”, he added.
“We are now in the delivery phase”.
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