Reproduced from the High Level Champion - Bonn Climate Change Conference 2023 sets stage for inclusive and united action at COP 28
High Level Champion from here.
The Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB58) was a pivotal gathering of climate leaders, innovative minds, and influential stakeholders, which underscored the need for ambitious and immediate action on the climate and nature crises.
At the conference, the UN Climate Change High Level Champions for COP 27 and COP 28, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak spearheaded the mobilization of non-Party stakeholders towards addressing climate change. They led and participated in numerous events and discussions; highlighting not only the critical issues at hand but also the solutions that can change the trajectory of our warming planet.
Inaugurating the COP 28 Presidency’s and also the High-Level Champions’ engagement at the Conference, H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak underlined the importance of youth participation, applauding the leadership of COP 28’s Youth Climate Champion, H.E. Shamma Al Mazrui. Indigenous voices also resonated powerfully, reiterating the need for diversity and inclusivity in charting our path towards a net zero, nature-positive and resilient world. H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak hosted a listening session with representatives of Indigenous Peoples, with the aim of instilling hands-on experiences of protecting and conserving the environment and biodiversity into the COP 28 programme. H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak stated, “I’m ready to champion this group and ultimately mobilize the technological and financial solutions that are locally-led and beneficial.”
Interlinked discussions on finance, nature, adaptation insurance, loss and damage, ocean-climate actions, and the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA) led to robust deliberations, reinforcing the consensus that collective action and localized solutions are fundamental to global progress towards a 1.5 °C resilient world. These discussions left no doubt that this is a defining moment for our planet – a moment where we must mobilize every tool, resource, and innovation at our disposal to ensure a livable and thriving world for all.
The vital role of nature took centre stage in the “Finance and nature for transformative course correction” event. Dr. Mohieldin pressed the need to increase local finance flows, which are currently deemed “insufficient, inefficient, and unfair.” H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak highlighted the unfortunate reality that nature solutions currently receive only 8% of public climate finance and 17% of private finance.
During the “Actions After Impacts” discussion, it became clear that many local communities are already taking action in order to survive the worst impacts of climate change and bounce back from the related losses and damages. As Dr. Mohieldin noted, the COP27 Loss and Damage fund was recognized as a successful first step. However, as H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak emphasized, “It’s not just finance that will support these solutions. It is partnerships, it is scaling up and it’s ensuring that we play a part in also voicing the real needs of the communities and the boots on the ground.”
Dr. Mohieldin and H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak joined government representatives and the Insurance Development Forum at the “Insurance for Adaptation Round-table,” to discuss strategies to increase engagement of the financial sector in the Global Finance Policy Processes for adaptation and resilience. Recognizing the insurance industry as a significant player in addressing climate change, they underscored its potential to contribute significantly to the scaling up of climate adaptation and risk reduction efforts through the utilization of its climate risk analytics capabilities.
The Conference reignited conversations on mobilizing finance for adaptation and resilience, as well as empowering local communities. The Champions, in collaboration with the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council and the Insurance Development Forum held a meeting exploring the critical need for the insurance industry to invest in adaptation to reduce risks and vulnerabilities, plus to inform finance policies to enhance private sector mobilization for adaptation, resilience, and loss and damage.
H.E. Ms. Al Mubarak opened the Ocean-Climate Dialogue and welcomed the work of the Marrakech Partnership Ocean and Coastal Zone Group which is developing Ocean Sectoral Breakthroughs. These science-based and measurable targets will provide compasses to accelerate governments and non-State actors actions and investments for key ocean-based climate solutions. These solutions range from coastal ecosystems, which can absorb a large amount of carbon and increase the resilience of coastal communities, to aquatic production, which can provide low carbon proteins for our growing global population, and a more sustainable maritime transport industry.
The Global Stocktake: charting a course to climate & nature recovery
The Global Stocktake (GST) – a comprehensive process for countries and stakeholders to see where they’re collectively making progress towards the Paris Agreement goals, which will culminate at COP 28 – was a key focus of the Bonn conference.
Building on previous discussions on the “what” and “how”, the technical assessment phase came to a close with the third and final technical dialogue (TD1.3) in Bonn with a focus on “what is next?”. Through four insightful round-table discussions, a dynamic World Café session, poster session and other events convened by the co-facilitators, Parties and non-Party stakeholders exchanged views on the enhanced actions and support needed across areas of mitigation, including response measures; adaptation, including loss and damage; means of implementation and support, including finance, technology and capacity building; and integrated and holistic approaches. The science is clear that urgent action is required to halve emissions, build adaptive capacity and resilience, end biodiversity loss, and address climate losses and damages by 2030. The findings from the technical phase will provide the foundation for the political phase and will help Parties and non-Party stakeholders identify what is needed to course-correct and achieve the Paris Agreement goals at COP 28. As such, the GST is one of the most important priorities for the multilateral climate change process this year and the response and follow through on the outcomes from COP 28 will determine how successful the world will be in stabilizing the climate.
In Bonn, the High-Level Champions invited non-Party stakeholders, from corporates to civil society, to investors and cities and regions, to support the GST process; to share their progress, help to identify key gaps and challenges, and co-create actionable solutions. They also stressed that the transparency brought by the GST can be a key lever to ratchet up the support from the international community to address the climate and nature crises, which are both a symptom and a cause of inequality. They called for transformative collaboration to course-correct our economies, with all actors playing a role, including women, young people, Indigenous Peoples, businesses, investors, national and subnational governments, civil society and academia.
The significant role of non-Party stakeholders in the GST was re-emphasized as Parties expressed their appreciation for the contribution and engagement of non-Party stakeholders in TD1.3, and encouraged them to organize events at the local, national, regional and international level in support of the first GST. The high-level committee, consisting of the Chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies and COP 27 and COP 28 Presidencies and who chair the high-level GST events to be convened at COP 28, also stressed the importance of non-Party stakeholder participation in the political phase and how the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit and the Regional Climate Weeks are key milestones. In the lead up to COP 28, Parties and non-Party stakeholders will be invited to submit their views on the elements for the “consideration of outputs” component by 15 September 2023. Watch this space for more details on this opportunity.
Task Forces inject new momentum into the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda
A landmark event launching the Sharm el-Sheik Adaptation Agenda Task Forces was attended by both High-Level Champions at Bonn, injecting strong momentum into the global adaptation and resilience movement, under the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA). The Task Forces will bring together countries and non-Party stakeholders to focus on critical areas such as Food Systems, Water, Human Settlements, Oceans, Infrastructure, and Finance. The first working sessions of the Task Forces took place, prioritizing key areas of mobilization, planning finance, and tracking progress - and overall the sessions focused on shaping common, engaging narratives for consolidated action on adaptation system transformation.
Dr. Mohieldin, highlighted that adaptation finance is improving, but at an alarmingly low rate: currently only 4% is mobilised by the private sector. He said: “Even if global mitigation efforts are doing well, which are not yet, there is a lot to do on adaptation. We must take this action from global measures to local plans through finance, collaboration and technological advances”.
During the Task Forces launch, resilience experts and members of the Race to Resilience's Methodological Advisory Group, including Anand Patwardhan, Emilie Beauchamp, Ana Maria Lobo-Guerrero, and Paulina Aldunce, highlighted the importance of the SAA in driving collaboration and fast-tracking action for populations in climate vulnerable situations. They underscored the need to address the adaptation gap and prioritize support for vulnerable communities to build resilience against now-unpreventable climate change impacts.
As well as the representatives from the COP27 and COP28 Presidencies, other attendees included the Marrakech Partnership Focal Points, numerous UN agencies, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Race to Resilience 36 partners’ initiatives. Their collective work will be instrumental in delivering the first SAA Implementation Report at COP 28.