Bonn, Germany – June 1, 2015 – Today marks the start of the Bonn Climate Conference, where countries gather under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to continue negotiations towards the Paris agreement due to be signed this December. In the opening Climate Action Network press briefing, members of the world’s largest network of NGOs working to stop climate change laid out expected developments and priority issues for civil society.
The talks unfold against a backdrop of record global temperatures and extreme weather events. Every month of 2015 so far has broken temperature records, and people around the world are struggling to cope with weather disasters, like the current heat waves in India and Mali.
As these impacts hit home, momentum for scaling up climate action is building – businesses backed increased action at the Business and Climate Summit in Paris last month, investment in renewable energy is growing even as the coal industry’s downward spiral accelerates. More and more moral voices are calling out the need for action including the Pope who is expected to release an encyclical that will cover climate change later this month. Countries responsible for 58% of the world’s emissions have lodged their climate action offers toward the Paris agreement so far. These offers outline how these countries will transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Countries negotiating at the Bonn Conference can show they mean to harness this momentum and take meaningful steps towards codifying a strong Paris agreement.
On the opening of the talks, CAN members made the following comments:
“Out in the real world, there is lot of wind behind the climate boat with many signs renewable energy is winning the war against fossil fuels, but countries are going to have to pick up their oars if we are going to avoid catastrophic climate change. This is where and this is why the Paris agreement comes in – it could actually accelerate the ongoing transition if it is designed in the right way. That means it needs to capture the progress made so far and ensure regular and mandatory scaling up of climate action. For the machinery to gear up, it needs to know where it’s headed. The agreement can and should signal to the world that from now on, it’s all about 100% renewable energy. The news out yesterday that six major oil companies have asked to work with the UNFCCC on carbon pricing shows that civil society pressure is working. They’re running scared because universal, robust climate action is coming.” Alix Mazounie, RAC France
“The message is very clear – climate change is happening now…as we sit here, India is going through an exceptional, unprecedented heatwave. Over 2000 people have lost their lives. As an early monsoon hits Nepal, those still without shelter after the earthquake are suffering. That’s why the Paris agreement needs to deliver plans to make communities resilient and deal with the loss and damage caused by these impacts.” Harjeet Singh, ActionAid
“We arrived here in Bonn with a 90 page draft Paris agreement that contains options on key issues that cover the good, the bad and the kitchen sink. Negotiators will be working to streamline and consolidate some options and start negotiating contentious topics such as how to treat countries with different capabilities fairly in the agreement and what the legal form of the agreement should be.” Jaco du Toit, WWF International
CAN is not currently planning to host a press briefing in Bonn, tomorrow Tuesday June 2, but for a one-to-one interview with our spokespeople on the opening day of the talks, which covered adaptation and the objectives sections of the draft Paris agreement, please contact Ria Voorhaar, CAN International on +49 157 3173 5568 or email: email@example.com,
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org