A “Skeleton” for the Paris Agreement Implementation Is Prepared

Participants of the UN climate negotiations session in Bonn (Germany) have composed everything necessary to outline the structure of the Paris Climate Agreement realization, i.e., draft lists of the parts of negotiation texts for the Parties’ Conference (КС-23). The initiatives of the “May Bonn” should make the basis for another conference in Bonn, i.e., the main climate meeting of the year, which will take place next November. 

The “skeleton” which was established in Bonn will be used to incorporate all parties’ resolutions on the major thematic directions of the Paris Agreement:  prevention of causes of the climate change, adaptation to its consequences; global progress review on the purposes of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, mechanisms of climate agreement realization, etc. 


Meetings of the auxiliary bodies of the climate convention had also taken place: on the implementation (SBI) and science and technical aspects (SBSTA), along with the session of consultations of the Special Working Group on Paris Agreement (АРА).  Besides, numerous science and practice seminars were organized to discuss strengthening of the goals on the greenhouse gas emission reduction: the current intention is to keep the global temperature increase within the 1.50 -2С limits.  Let us remind that the present accumulated national goals of the countries do not meet this intention and lead the world to a 30С temperature increase and following this catastrophic outcome.


Discussion on the matter of strengthening national goals was not initially included in the agenda of the Bonn Session.  However, “open format” consultations had taken place and parties’ opinions were indicated. The discussions were brought down to the position that the key role in achieving climatic goals should play regions, cities, private companies, financial institutions, and environmental organizations’ actions.  In 2018, within the frame of the negotiations, a “stimulating dialogue” is scheduled to discuss outcomes of countries’ collective efforts and actions on emission reduction.  

A group of leaders of the Forum of the 48 climate-vulnerable countries (the Climate Vulnerable Forum, CVF), which had last year declared the goal to transfer to 100% RESs by 2050, came up with a statement in Bonn. “In 2018, we should see strengthening of all countries’ ambitions,” the statement reads.  “The progress achieved by states will affect lives of a billion of the most vulnerable people represented by the Forum.” “Preservation of the 1.5С goal is a matter of survival for all of us,” Ministry of the Environment, Forest, and Climate Change of Ethiopia, says.

A discussion topic which caused serious disagreements concerned the “counter measures,” i.e., dependence and even losses for the economies of the developing countries caused by the emission reduction efforts. For example, Arab countries are concerned with negative economic consequences caused by the possible reduction of oil consumption. The Saudi Arabia initiated discussions on this topic in the course of previous sessions. The issue had been postponed for several years. However, this “touchy subject” concerning a pretty good amount of developing countries can seriously slow down the process of negotiations, observers say.


Issues related to adaptation were in the focus of a vigorous discussion: what should be included in “adaptation activities;” what is the order for providing information by the countries; how “transparency” of the processes can be provided, etc. Quite a few discussions occurred on the matter of reorganization of this direction.  The least developed countries, African and small island states stressed the importance of distinctions between the concepts of “adaptation” and “losses and damages” in the climate process and insisted on separate channels for these spheres.   


Market mechanisms for realization of the Paris Agreement proved to be another matter for discussion. What will replace the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation Projects (JIP)?  There were many complaints expressed on the part of these instruments, CDM in the first place. “The time has come to work out clear regulations,” all participants of the negotiations agreed.   “The systems should not duplicate but complement each other, while the option of double counting should be completely excluded.  A proposal to establish a sort of a “hybrid” of a non-market mechanism for interstate cooperation on emission reduction was submitted.  Participants of the negotiations have agreed on 20 discussion points to be considered by the countries in the course of the upcoming rounds of climate negotiations.  


By the end of the Climate Session in Bonn, 145 countries had already ratified the Paris Agreement.  Russia does not yet belong to this list and, according to official statements, will get back to this issue in 2019.  Nevertheless, upon completion of the Bonn Session, a Climate Week and a set of events under the Russian Government’s auspices took place in Moscow where Russia’s readiness to take part in international processes was claimed. 

The Bonn Session did not bring any surprises.  However, according to the words of the European Climate Foundation’s CEO Laurence Tubiana, who stood at the origins of the Paris Agreement, “negotiations in Bonn showed that countries remain adherent to the goals of international cooperation and they will continue to promote the Paris Agreement against all the odds.”