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The Bonn climate change conference

GS Paper 2/3

 Syllabus: International agreements/ Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation


Source: DTE

 Context: Diplomats from around the world met once again in the German city of Bonn for climate negotiations before the UNFCCC’s COP28 in Dubai, UAE.

The objective of the conference: To chart out a massive and immediate climate action plan to keep alive any realistic chance of meeting the 1.5-degree or 2-degree Celsius targets.


The key issue at Bonn – Global Stocktake (GST):

  • Mandated by the 2015 Paris Agreement, GST is an exercise aimed at assessing the progress in the fight against climate change, and deciding ways and means to enhance global action to bridge the adequacy gap.
  • The Paris Agreement says GST must be conducted every five years, starting in 2023.


Outcome: The Bonn conference produced a short framework on the elements to be included in the stocktake exercise.

The bone of contention between the developed and developing countries: Provisions related to finance and historical responsibility of the rich countries.


Historical responsibility:

  • A bulk of the accumulated GHGs, the reason for global warming, have come from a group of about 40 rich and industrialised countries, usually referred to as Annex I countries in the 1992 UNFCCC.
  • This historical responsibility has been the basis for the differentiated burden-sharing between developed and developing countries in the climate change framework.


The argument of Annex I countries:

  • Historical emissions happened at a time when there were –
    • No alternative to fossil fuel-based energy sources
    • Little understanding or consensus on the harm caused by GHGs.
  • Since 1992,
    • ~57% of the CO2 emissions had come from non-Annex I countries.
    • ~70% of the incremental warming due to emissions from CO2, methane and sulphur dioxide had come from non-Annex I countries.
  • Hence, bridging the adequacy gap was not the sole responsibility of the developed nations.


 Finance and technology transfers:

  • Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) – a temporary emergency exercise focused only on increasing emission cuts, was set up at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021 for climate action.
  • Discussions at the MWP ran into trouble after developing countries complained that developed countries were yet to offer the enabling finance and technology transfers.
    • Developed countries are under an obligation to support the implementation of climate action plans of developing countries through money and tech transfers.


Challenges ahead:

  • Global emissions have to come down by 43% from 2019 levels by 2030 to keep alive hopes of meeting the 1.5-degree target (IPCC).
  • Developing countries need as much as US$ 6 trillion between now and 2030 just to implement their climate action plans.
    • The loss and damage needs of developing countries are assessed to be about US$ 400 billion every year.
    • Against this, even a minuscule US$ 100 billion per year that the developed countries had committed to raising from 2020 is not fully available.


Conclusion: The Summit for a New Global Financial Pact is an attempt at redirecting global financial flows and raising new money to fight climate change, and dealing with associated problems like biodiversity loss and poverty.


Insta Links:

COP-28 (Dubai) must focus on adaptation instead of mitigation, says India


Mains Links:

Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India in this conference? (UPSC 2021)