COP23, The 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been a success.
The global community has embraced this year’s President Fiji’s concept of a Grand Coalition for greater ambition. In Bonn, the support for climate action from countries, regions, cities, civil society, the private sector and the community was clearly on display.
COP23 goals, which were to advance the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement and prepare for more ambitious action in the Talanoa Dialogue of 2018, were successfully achieved.
Some of the key achievements from COP23 are as follows:
2018 Talanoa Dialogue: After extensive consultations, the Fijian COP23 Presidency announced an inclusive and participatory process that allows countries, as well as non-state actors, to share stories and showcase best practices in order to urgently raise ambition – including pre-2020 action – in nationally determined contributions (NDCs). This is ultimately to enable countries to collectively move closer to the more ambitious Paris Agreement goal of keeping the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Implementation Guidelines: While important work remains to be done, COP23 made significant progress toward clear and comprehensive implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement, which will make the agreement operational. This is crucial to help governments plan their economies, and give confidence to investors and businesses that the low-carbon economy is here to stay. Countries will need to finalise the implementation guidelines at COP24 in Poland next year.
Launch of Ocean Pathway Partnership: The Fijian COP23 Presidency launched the Ocean Pathway Partnership to encourage the climate negotiations process to address the relationship between climate change and the ocean. In the true spirit of the Grand Coalition, the partnership will also consolidate existing work being done to create a coordinated effort among governments at all levels, existing ocean alliances and coalitions, civil society and the private sector to create a stronger link between climate action and a healthy ocean. The partnership will be co-chaired by Fiji and Sweden, who are joining forces again after leading the inaugural UN Ocean Conference in July.
Launch of InsuRelience Global Partnership: The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) contributed 110 million euros (US $125 million) to launch the InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions to bring affordable insurance and other financial protection to millions of vulnerable people around the world. The contribution from BMZ follows a £30 million (US $39 million) commitment that was made by the Government of the United Kingdom in July.
Launch of the Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer: This new online resource will help connect vulnerable countries with the best available information on affordable insurance and solutions – tailored to their unique circumstances – that will allow them to better prepare for the risks posed by climate change.
Finalisation of the Gender Action Plan: Countries finalised the first-ever Gender Action Plan, which aims to increase the participation of women in all UNFCCC processes. It also seeks to increase awareness of and support for the development and effective implementation of gender-responsive climate policy at all levels of government.
Finalisation of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform: This platform will provide direct and comprehensive means to give a greater voice to indigenous people in the climate negotiations and allow them to share their traditional knowledge and best practices on reducing emissions, adapting to climate change and building resilience.
Historic Breakthrough in Agriculture: Countries reached a historic agreement on agriculture that will help countries develop and implement new strategies for adaptation and mitigation within the sector, to both reduce emissions as well as build resilience to the effects of climate change. This was historic because it was the first time in the history of the climate negotiations that countries had reached an agreement on agriculture.
Adaptation Fund: The Adaptation Fund was replenished with a total of US $93.3 million, exceeding this year’s funding target by US $13 million. The Adaptation Fund has a track record of providing valuable resources to communities in developing countries for projects that help improve resilience to the effects of climate change. Projects may apply for funding to Adaptation Fund Board, which reviews applications through a transparent process. Countries also took the important next step to ensure that the Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement.
America’s Pledge: A delegation of sub-national leaders led by Gov. Jerry Brown of California and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented a report on the ongoing efforts by American states, cities, businesses and civil society to uphold the emissions reduction target of the United States under the Paris Agreement.
Bonn-Fiji Commitment: Local and regional leaders gathered to officially adopt the Bonn-Fiji Commitment of Local and Regional Leaders to Deliver the Paris Agreement at All Levels, a pledge that signals their commitment to bring forward a critical shift in global development. The Bonn-Fiji Commitment highlights the pledge to raise collective ambition for climate action.
Launch of the NDC Regional Hub: The NDC Partnership is establishing a new regional hub to support the implementation of NDCs in the Pacific. The Regional Pacific NDC Hub will be based in Suva, Fiji, and will provide expertise for developing regional solutions to mitigate global warming and enhance efforts by Pacific islands to adapt to climate change.
Health Initiative for the Vulnerable: The World Health Organisation, in collaboration with the UNFCCC and the Fijian COP23 Presidency launched a special initiative to protect people living in Small Island Developing States from the health impacts of climate change. Its goal by 2030 is to triple the levels of international financial support to climate and health in Small Island Developing States.
First Open Dialogue between Governments and Non-Stare Actors: The Fijian COP23 Presidency presided over the first ever Open Dialogue between governments and non-state actors (including civil society, municipal governments and businesses) within the formal climate negotiations. Discussions were held surrounding two important topics. The first was how non-state actors can help countries design and implement more ambitious NDCs and the second was how to better integrate NPS into the climate negotiations process. Based on the success of the dialogue, there was strong enthusiasm to continue similar discussions at future COP meetings.
Expert Dialogue on Loss and Damage: Provides important space to raise awareness about the vulnerability of small island states. It will explore options for mobilising expertise, technology and support for the victims of climate change.