UN climate talks in Bonn get into procedure, while momentum for action reaches new heights

Bonn, Germany - Thursday, September 3, 2015This session of climate negotiations are moving towards their conclusion, and civil society observers here in Bonn have provided an expert analysis of the progress made to-date in the negotiations and on the state of the text. 

So far, progress on issues have been mixed, with some critical subjects like loss and damage seeing more positive movement than others. And while the state of affairs in Bonn may not show significant progress in the text, there have been interesting developments both in informal discussions and in the broader climate movement.

After the session, ministers are expected to weigh in and provide concrete political guidance on the political issues in the text, in order to guide the formation of a comprehensive and universal climate agreement that should protect people from climate risks and signal the end of the fossil fuel era, due in Paris this December.

On the ground in Bonn, CAN members made the following comments: 

"To the outside, it can look like this process is never getting anywhere. But we like to think of this as a big construction project. We’re building a home for future climate action, and we need to get all the pieces assembled first. But we also have to know that winter is coming, and still don't have a home."

-Jaco du Toit, WWF

"There are still opportunities to make progress on several fronts here in Bonn today and tomorrow, both in developing bridging proposals and textual solutions. After we leave Bonn, the co-chairs and their team of issue facilitators must work to produce a concise, well-organized text that will allow countries to hit the ground running on real negotiations on day one of the next session in October.  We can still achieve the comprehensive, ambitious, and equitable outcome in Paris that the world needs, but there is no more time to lose."

-Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists

"We came here under a dark cloud, thinking that loss and damage could stand between us and a deal in Paris. In this meeting, however, we’ve seen some positive signs that groups are engaging with a collaborate spirit on the issue. Just this morning, we heard two bridging proposals on loss and damage—an attempt to make the text we have on the table more digestible and more owned by the parties—and are now farther ahead on this issue than on some others in the talks. We have a long way to go, but there is a surprising amount of engagement between countries on this critical topic.  It’s inconceivable that the Paris climate agreement – designed to be durable – would not deal with the worst impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable people."

-Julie-Anne Richards, Climate Justice Programme