Almost two years after reaching the Paris Agreement, governments from around the world will gather at the annual UN Climate Change Conference along with representatives of cities, states, companies and civil society organizations to advance the implementation of this vital accord.
In Paris, countries agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the increase in global average temperature this century well below 2oC compared to pre-industrial levels, and as close to 1.5oC as possible. They also committed to helping vulnerable nations adapt to the impacts of climate change.
At the conference in Bonn, delegates will further develop the operational guidelines on implementing the agreement’s provisions. These cover areas including transparency of action and support, emissions reductions, adaptation, finance, capacity-building and technology. Governments intend to finish this work in 2018, when they also will take stock of their collective efforts towards reaching the climate goals.
Fiji will become the first small-island state to preside over the conference. Small-island states are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise and extreme weather events such as hurricanes.
At UN Environment, we are throwing the full weight of our scientific expertise, solutions-based approaches and global convening power behind the Paris Agreement to help countries meet commitments and increase ambition.
We lead or cooperate in many initiatives that support the implementation of the agreement and engage non-state actors including civil society and the private sector. Examples include:
Helping countries implement their commitments through ecosystem-based adaptation, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and promoting renewable energy and improved energy efficiency.
Building the capacity of developing countries to monitor, report and verify their climate actions and achievements.
Assisting countries to draw up plans and implement projects that will reduce the effects of climate change and adapt to its impacts.
Support for countries to access global climate funds, including private climate finance
Delivering technical assistance to developing countries, providing inputs to the development of the technology framework under the Paris accord and hosting the Convention’s Climate Technology Centre and Network.
Linking efforts to combat climate change with those reducing air pollution and with the Sustainable Development Goals.
During the conference, UN Environment will hold many events related to these and other initiatives.
The annual Conference of the Parties brings together the 197 countries that have ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. As the twenty-third such gathering, it is known as COP23.
The Convention was one of three key environmental agreements reached at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Decisions under the Convention are guided by reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was established under the auspices of UN Environment and the World Meteorological Organization.
Under the Convention, nations have reached two key agreements on reducing greenhouse gas emissions: the Kyoto Protocol adopted in 1997, and the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015. The Paris accord is built around so-called “nationally determined contributions” as a means of achieving the goal of limiting the global temperature increase, and to step up those contributions over time.
For more background on the Convention and the Paris Agreement and practical information for those attending the Bonn conference, click here.