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Climate Action Network Outcome Reaction

Bonn has flopped. The UN climate talks are failing. We are in a climate emergency, yet rich country delegates seem to forget this, at our peril. There was next to no progress across the board. The June intersessionals were filled with more air than a hot air balloon.

There can and will be no progress across the negotiations if climate finance is not pledged in the trillions needed. Not any kind of finance will do the trick: the climate debt has to be paid through public, grant-based finance, covering mitigation, adaptation and not forgetting Loss & Damage. The Global North owes a climate debt to the Global South, as their delay in repaying continues so does the debt accrued, it’s time to pay up, the debt collectors are here.

 You can view Tasneem Essop's Intervention here 

Providing an overview of the SB60 talks, Tasneem Essop, Executive Director of CAN International said:

“The outcome of the Bonn climate talks is a reflection of a decades-old fight to get rich nations to meet their obligations and support developing countries in taking action to address the climate crisis. Until that deadlock is broken all other issues will be held hostage. What we need now is for rich nations to use the time leading up to Baku, starting with the G7 this weekend, to get their act together on delivering climate finance commitments, at the scale needed. Shifting the goalpost by insisting on the expansion of the donor base to include developing countries is a red herring and believing that the private sector will solve the climate finance problem is delusional. Rich nations must step up and pay up.”

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On Climate Finance, Mariana Paoli,  Global Advocacy Lead at Christian Aid said: 

“The UN climate talks in Bonn showed an astonishing lack of urgency among developed countries in addressing the climate crisis. Developing countries have put proposals for the new climate finance goal on the table. But developed countries have refused to engage on how much public money they are willing to provide. This is despite climate finance being key to staving off climate catastrophe, and a legal obligation under the Paris Agreement  and the climate Convention. This failure by rich countries is a  symptom of their lack of political leadership. The poorest and  most vulnerable and marginalised people need financial support today.”

Looking ahead to COP29 in Baku, Nugzar Kokhreidze from  CAN Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia said: “As we finalise SB60, we see that the climate negotiations are happening among the spread of anti-NGOs laws. Despite difficulties, CAN EECCA sees certain opportunities for COP29 to become financially ambitious. It is important to ensure an active and wide participation of civil society organisations. Without the support of NGOs, there will be no monitoring, no ambition, and more greenwashing. There is no climate justice without human rights. There is no climate justice without civil society.”

Looking ahead to COP30 in Belem, Claudio Angelo, from Observatório do Clima, said: 

"As we miss in Bonn one more opportunity to make progress and the doomsday clock for climate chaos approaches midnight, pressure mounts on the incoming presidency of COP30 to lead the political process to a 1.5-compatible world. Along with the UAE and Azerbaijan, Brazil must make sure the new round of NDCs deliver the transformation in the global economy that's needed in order to prevent a permanent overshoot of the Paris Agreement temperature target. But the troika must not forget that a 60% reduction in emissions by 2035 can only happen if the 43% reduction required by science occurs first. Right now this simple mathematical fact appears to be lost to them - and to the rest of the world". 

On the UAE Dialogue, Tom Evans, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G, said: “The UAE Dialogue is meant to be a space at the UNFCCC to implement the outcomes of the Global Stocktake. Right now there’s no guarantee that governments will fulfil this vision. It’s essential that this Dialogue creates a space for countries to have a laser focus on how they make the commitment at COP28 to ‘transition away from fossil fuels’ a reality, including unlocking the vital missing ingredient of finance to enable this in developing countries”.

On Adaptation, Karla Maass, Policy and Campaign Advisor at CAN Latin America said: “Negotiations on the UAE framework for global resilience aims to measure how the collective effort on adaptation is being implemented ends with a compromised text in Bonn, where any reference to means of implementation was vanished from the text. This was the game that rich countries played in every negotiation room arguing that support, aka finance, was out of the scope of the mandate. But let us be honest, isn't the flow of finance an easily measurable and comprehensive indicator of progress on adaptation actions? The game rich countries played in adaptation rooms also wanted to dilute any reference to the principles of the convention, which basically recognize their responsibility to provide finance given the climate crisis they have induced. This was highly noticed and it is very shameful when there is no single doubt on the need to scale up adaptation finance and when nothing less than humanity's sorrow and non-human lives losses are at stake” 

On Mitigation, Fernanda de Carvalho, WWF Climate and Energy Policy head, said, “The Mitigation Work Programme is the only negotiation space that focuses on … mitigation. Those discussions need to advance if we want to collectively reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035 from 2019 levels, indicated by the IPCC and confirmed by the Global Stocktake outcomes. This will only be achieved by enhanced NDCs which should be the focus of this work programme and the main deliverable in 2025 by all countries, especially rich ones, by 2035. Instead, we saw Parties diverging way more than converging on hard discussions that never made it beyond process. Not even an informal note by facilitators was accepted. We cannot afford another talk shop that doesn't deliver while climate impacts keep escalating. We are counting on the Troika not only to deliver their NDCs, but also to influence other countries to deliver ambitious NDCs too.”

On Energy, Laurie van der Burg, Oil Change International Public Finance lead said:

“While lives are being lost in unbearable heat waves in Sudan, last year’s breakthrough agreement to transition away from fossil fuels was barely mentioned in these negotiations. The rich countries most responsible for this crisis must pay up for a fair fossil fuel phase-out and climate damages, without worsening unjust debts. We know they have more than enough money. It’s just going to the wrong things. 

“G7 leaders gathering in Italy today must face their responsibility. Instead of siding with fossil fuel interests, they need to deliver a fair fossil fuel phase-out, end fossil fuel handouts, and put a strong climate finance offer on the table. This is essential to build a fair and renewable future for all.” 

On Just Transition, Caroline Brouillette, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada  said:

“The slow pace of SB60 stood in stark contrast to the rapid change happening in the real world. Outside the negotiation rooms, the transition is happening. The question is whether it will be just.

Parties agreed to procedural conclusions in Bonn which give the Just Transition Work Programme a bit of oomph. But now they need to show up in Baku with a clear vision on how the JTWP delivers justice for people: this includes stronger and more inclusive modalities and deeper content discussions. Bringing workers, communities and all peoples along and ensuring adequate support and international cooperation is the only way we can move fast enough to limit warming to the crucial threshold of 1.5°C.”

On Carbon Markets, Jonathan Crook, Policy Expert at Carbon Market Watch said: 

"Following the collapse of UN carbon market negotiations in Dubai, Parties came together in Bonn intending to patch things up. The widely divergent options in the Article 6 negotiation texts leaving Bonn speak to countries' fundamentally clashing visions over the level of transparency, oversight, and integrity needed in UN carbon markets. Parties obstructing a bare minimum for accountability and transparency in Article 6.2 will turn this carbon market into a black box where hot air can be streamlined to "achieve" NDCs and corporate climate targets. Faced with an impasse in negotiations, high level officials are likely to be drawn in at COP29 to conclude a deal on Article 6 -- they would do good to remember that the planet cannot afford integrity and transparency to be traded off for the sake of an outcome."

On Agriculture, Marie Cosquer, Action contre la Faim, said:

"While a roadmap for discussions on agriculture and food security under the UNFCCC has finally been determined, there is still a lot to do bring the focus on solutions that will benefit small-scale food producers on the frontlines of the climate crisis, such as agroecology or accessible public finance. Climate action will only contribute to the realisation of the Right to Food for all if the voices of the most affected are heard, and if private interests are kept outside the UNFCCC space." 

On Health, Jess Beagley, Policy Lead, Global Climate and Health Alliance, said “Climate talks fail not because of the science, but because of the silence of those with the power to act. Failure in these negotiations is not just a setback; it's a devastating blow to the most vulnerable among us. We had high expectations that the recently passed climate and health resolution at the WHA would positively influence the Bonn climate talks, making this failure even more disappointing. To the rich countries stalling progress: remember, no one is safe from the climate crisis until everyone is safe. The world is witnessing the severe health impacts of this crisis, and every moment of inaction puts countless lives at risk. Our shared future hinges on the equity and urgency of our actions.”

On Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings (AIM), Amnesty International’s Climate Justice Adviser Ann Harrison said:

“This was a missed opportunity to strengthen protection of human rights at future UNFCCC meetings, including in their host countries. The UNFCCC Secretariat and all Parties should do more to ensure that strong human rights guarantees are set and implemented through the agreement with future meeting hosts – especially as we now know that this was not the case for the COP28 Host Country Agreement. This cannot be repeated for COP29 as it is once again taking place in a country where the rights to free speech and peaceful protest are not respected. The views of civil society and Indigenous Peoples will be critical to ensuring an ambitious outcome of COP29, including the massive scale up of climate finance targets that we need.”

Further Quotes:

Teresa Anderson, Global lead on climate justice, ActionAid International:  

“Across the board, negotiation tracks nearly ran off the rails with rich countries blocking the finance needed to make climate action happen. COP29 negotiations in Baku on the new climate finance goal will be a fork in the road for Planet Earth. Developing countries have been carrying the costs of the climate crisis, and their patience is now stretched beyond bearing. Right now, it’s the people who have done almost nothing to cause the climate crisis who are paying for it with their lost livelihoods, their hunger, their disappearing islands, and their lives. 

“There’s no getting around the fact that if we want enough climate action to ensure a safe future for everyone, we’re going to have to find a way of covering the costs. The climate bill will be in the multiple trillions of dollars, but the good news is that tax justice can be a gamechanger for climate action. New ActionAid research shows that developed countries can raise USD 2 trillion for climate action by raising their tax-to-GDP ratios by four percentage points, with a range of progressive tax measures that address tax avoidance, and target the wealthiest corporations and individuals.”  

Harjeet Singh, Global Engagement Director for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative:

“Climate finance at international talks has morphed into a battleground, a glaring testament to years of neglect and deception by developed nations. These countries have not only skirted their historical responsibilities but have also consistently deployed delay tactics, shifting burdens onto the shoulders of developing countries.

"We are on the brink of a catastrophic failure of climate talks, harming those least responsible for the crisis. It is time for wealthy nations to confront their obligations head-on, to integrate substantial climate finance commitments into their national budgets, and to impose punitive taxes on fossil fuel corporations and the super-rich — those who have profited most from the exploitation of our planet. 

“As we witness devastating impacts affecting people and nature, our patience has run thin. We need action to raise trillions of dollars, not excuses, to finance the urgent climate solutions needed to safeguard our future and restore justice to the communities bearing the brunt of climate change."

Marlene Achoki, Global policy co-lead, CARE International - said:

Adaptation action and finance is crucial for developing countries and we are disappointed that discussions around Global goal on adaptation for the last 2 weeks ended up with a weak decision text on means of implementation particularly finance and without clear modalities for engaging in developing the indicators for global goal on adaptation.  It’s important as we head to Baku COP29 that parties will agree to a clear roadmap to COP30, detailing the criteria for indicator development and finalisation to ensure progress in adaptation action and clearly highlighting means of implementation that is very critical to support vulnerable countries to implement adaptation actions and build resilience. We do not have any time left.

Tracy Carty, Greenpeace International’s Climate Politics Expert said:

“Rich developed countries talked at length about what they can’t commit to and who else should pay, but failed to assure developing nations on their intent to significantly scale up financial support. Damning silence on what finance might be offered is stymying efforts to raise ambition and is a dereliction of duty to people battling climate-fuelled storms, fires and droughts. 

“As primary contributors of climate finance, rich developed countries must end the stand-off and build trust that they will not come to Baku empty handed and instead significantly increase support. A key way to do that is to tax the fossil fuel companies and other high emitting sectors.

“The gridlock of negotiations on 2030 mitigation ambition is alarming. People around the world expect better - emissions are surging and delay is costing lives.” 

Lien Vandamme, Senior Campaigner at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) said: 

“For the climate talks to deliver just and effective action, the voices of those most impacted by climate harms and the fossil economy must be at the negotiating table, and human rights and fundamental freedoms must be protected and upheld before, during, and after the upcoming climate talks. Bonn did not provide guarantees that this would be the case for future UNFCCC meetings.  

“This is particularly important in the context of COP29 , as yet another petrostate with a deeply repressive government is tasked with presiding over the climate negotiations. That the annual climate summit will once again be hosted by a state aggressively supporting fossil fuel expansion - expansion that benefits  Global North corporations -  reflects the UNFCCC’s failure to curb corporate capture of climate policy. Human rights and the need for a comprehensive conflict of interest policy for the UNFCCC should be squarely on the agenda of all governments heading to Baku.“

Iskander Erzini Vernoit, Director, IMAL Initiative for Climate & Development, said:

“Time is ticking to keep warming below the thresholds for climate safety. Coming out of the fanfare of Dubai, there were renewed hopes for scaling government climate action. Impatience is rising among developing countries at the lack of climate finance from developed countries. COP29 must set the New Collective Quantified Goal on climate finance to replace the $100bn goal from Copenhagen in 2009. This $100bn, hardly met, is an order of magnitude below the trillions being proposed by the Africans and other blocs.”

Dr Sindra Sharma, Senior Policy Advisor, PICAN:

Finance is a critical enabler of ambitious climate action. Achieving the implementation of 1.5°C-aligned Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) requires trillions in public finance from developed to developing countries. The implementation of ambitious NDCs is essential for the survival of Small Island Developing States.

At the Bonn intersessional, we heard the urgent needs of developing countries. Unfortunately, it is clear that developed countries are not yet listening. To avoid further erosion of trust, developed countries must seize this opportunity to meet these needs. By doing so, they can support those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis and foster hope for a climate-safe future for all.

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