We find ourselves at a crucial time. A record increase in greenhouse gas emissions last year, to the highest carbon output in history, puts your target of keeping warming below 2 degrees in jeopardy. It puts the more important temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees – the limit needed to keep the sovereignty of many small island states intact – in even more grave danger.
Parties, delegates, this is your moment. The threat of climate change has never been more evident; just ask the hundreds of millions of people in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa who are already experiencing a food crisis.
Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA, says that disaster can be averted, if governments heed the warning. "If we have bold, decisive and urgent action, very soon, we still have a chance of succeeding."
The decisive action you must take, delegates, is to be productive at this Bonn intersessional, set yourselves a workplan for this year, that allows substantial progress to be made at Durban. This work includes the following:
Advance the Adaptation Committee so that it becomes a driver for promoting coherence on adaptation under the UNFCCC. Agree on a Work Programme on Loss and Damage in Bonn and a further phase of the Nairobi Work Programme. Also advance modalities and guidelines for national adaptation planning that follow an inclusive and integrated approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems.
Bonn must take concrete steps to close the gigatonne gap. The first baby step towards that end is for developed and developing countries to clarify their pledges, including their assumptions on LULUCF, AAU carry over and carbon offsets, so that we know what amount of GHGs the atmosphere will see in 2020.
Ambition in the LULUCF sector can be increased by measures that include incentivizing emissions reductions below historical levels to add to overall effort and assist with deep, early cuts and increased targets. Parties must also move to address the bioenergy / biofuels emissions accounting loophole, ensuring that all bioenergy emissions are accounted for, either in the energy or LULUCF sector.
Parties must also talk about conditions that countries have attached to the high end of their pledged ranges – how will we know when these conditions have been met? All that done, what do developed country Parties propose to do about the fact that their pledges are (far) below the 25-40% range and in some cases even below something Kyoto 1 targets.
Developing countries should be invited to make submissions on key factors underlying their BAU projections as well as the level and form of international climate finance needed to implement NAMAs that are conditional on such finance.
REDD+ negotiations need to start promptly in Bonn on all of the subjects that were mandated in Cancun. By the end of the year, the COP needs to be able to decide on a mechanism for REDD+ that delivers adequate, predictable and sustainable