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COP23: Road to climate change solutions still long but fruitful

20.11.2017 - Press release

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn came to a successful end as the 197 Parties achieved important progress on implementing the Paris Agreement, and by creating the Talanoa Dialogue.

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) ended on November 18 after a long night of negotiations.

One of the positive outcomes of the COP23 is the Talanoa Dialogue which aims to encourage the international community over the coming year to take more ambitious action to close the global climate mitigation gap.

Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks is satisfied with the COP23
Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks is satisfied with the COP23© dpa

Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks commented: "In Bonn we made great progress, both with negotiating and implementing.

The conference fully satisfied expectations in this regard. And it was an important step on the road to the COP in Katowice next year, where we are planning to adopt the rulebook for the Paris Agreement.

Bonn was also the first Climate Change Conference following the announcement by the Trump administration of US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

The COP in Bonn sends a powerful signal that the world is united and will not be hindered in its climate action efforts."

One key outcome of the conference is the Talanoa Dialogue. Talanoa is a Fiji term for a conversation in which the people involved share ideas and resolve problems.

As the sum total of the current climate targets under the Paris Agreement is not yet sufficient for limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius, agreement was reached in Paris that the international community would have to raise the level of ambition over time.

The Talanoa Dialogue is the trial run for this ambition mechanism. Under the leadership of Fiji and Poland, this dialogue aims to bring together contributions from the scientific sector, industry and civil society over the coming years.

The result will be a stocktake geared to motivating the Parties to take more ambitious action to close the global climate mitigation gap.

Other key progress was made with the rulebook, in other words the implementing provisions of the Paris Agreement. These determine, for example, how countries measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Parties drafted texts in Bonn on all issues to be finalised and adopted by the COP in Katowice in 2018.

More than 20,000 people participated in the COP23
More than 20,000 people participated in the COP23© picture alliance / MAXPPP

In parallel to the negotiations, the implementation agenda was also advanced in Bonn: Countries, industry and civil society presented a broad spectrum of climate action solutions in hundreds of events.

One example of progress outside of the negotiations is the NDC Partnership, which helps developing countries draw up national climate action strategies. The Partnership was able to considerably expand its work here in Bonn.

Germany was the technical host of the COP, which was presided over by Fiji. The Bonn Climate Change Conference was the largest ever intergovernmental conference held in Germany.

Over the two weeks, a total of 22,000 participants attended, with more than 4,500 volunteers. Minister Hendricks commented: "Bonn was an excellent host. The COP strengthened Bonn's standing as a location for international organisations and conferences.

Our concept of "one conference – two zones" was a success. Both the Bula Zone for negotiations and the Bonn Zone with its projects and examples of implementation were very busy.

I am sure that this combination of negotiation and implementation will serve as a model for future Climate Change Conferences."

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