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A Guide to the Bonn Climate Change Conference: A Vital Halfway Point?

June 6th 2023

Tagged: climate change

Almost exactly half a year on from COP27, the Bonn Climate Change Conference is nearly here. It will act as an important check-in between the COPs, and with the focus of COP28 being on protecting global food systems, ecosystems and biodiversity can be expected to be at the heart of the Bonn conference.

In light of the IPCC’s AR6 Synthesis Report, which presents a final plea for action while there is still a chance of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C, could this conference act as a critical progress check and spur greater action? 

What is the Bonn Climate Change Conference? 

The Bonn Climate Change Conference, an international meeting organised by the UNFCCC, occurs twice a year, and when not part of the annual COP, in Bonn, Germany. The conference comprises sessions by two subsidiary bodies – the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) – and plays a vital role in connecting the expert bodies, such as the IPCC, to the policy-focused needs of the COP.

This year will see the 58th meeting of these subsidiary bodies and it will occur between the 5th and 15th June. 

alt tagPost bushfire regrowth eucalyptus blue mountains AustraliaHow did the last conference end?

Last year’s conference concluded with mixed results. While progress was made in some areas, such as advancements in the guidelines for reporting on climate finance, negotiations turned bitter with issues such as loss and damage causing discord. This disagreement, as well as discussions about changing the nature of the conference itself, arguably hindered any significant progress to be made in terms of adhering to the 1.5°C commitment. 

However, in light of the agreement on loss and damage reached at COP27, there is great potential for this year’s conference to be invaluable.

What is the focus of this year’s conference?

This year’s conference will see the discussion of a number of key issues, including

  • A review of current research and observations in addition to an annual report on the IPCC’s technical review.
  • A review of the performance, and effectiveness, of policies adopted as a result of COP27, such as those relating to climate action on agriculture and food security.
  • Progress reports on the implementation of the activities set out in the Nairobi work programme (NWP) and their efficacy. 

The NWP, adopted in 2005 after COP11, aims to help the least developed countries and small island developing states to improve their monitoring of and adaptation to climate change. This year’s conference will be partially used, by the SBSTA, to discuss the progress the NWP has made towards its goals and how best to speed up its development.

Youth climate protest in BrightonYouth Climate Protest | WorkingAbroadWhat to look out for as conservationists and why is it important?

With the sizeable progress made at COP27 in terms of loss and damage, this year’s conference may be able to make significant advancements in mitigating the effects, and degree, of climate change. In particular, updates on, and potential enhancements to, the NWP will be one to watch for conservationists. Since this programme focuses on the effects of climate change on least developed countries, it has a profound effect on the ecosystems within these states. 

While this crucial programme aids in the global effort to reduce the impact of climate change on biodiversity, with WorkingAbroad you can help many vulnerable species at a local level. There are many projects to get involved with, ranging from wildlife conservation in Namibia to reforestation efforts in Iceland.  

Written by WorkingAbroad Blogger Edward Forman

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