Christiana Figueres

Climate diplomacy under pressure

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Five months after COP21, delegates from 195 countries met for the first time on Monday in Bonn to begin to implement the ambitious but still incomplete climate pact adopted in December in Paris against global warming. No time should be wasted because while diplomacy is taking place, the climate continues to be remembered: disappearance of islands in Oceania, giant fire in Canada, corals in perdition from New Caledonia to Australia?
 
The negotiation phase is behind us, we are entering a phase of collaboration. The whole world is united behind this commitment "The UN climate chief Christiana Figueres opened this session of negotiations, which is scheduled to last until 26 May and will be the only one until COP22 in Marrakech in November.
The Paris Agreement" gives us a direction, it's an extraordinary lever« supported COP21 Chair, French Environment Minister Ségolène Royal. « Your mission gets a new lease of life« she told the delegates. « The foundations of the house have been laid, now we have to build it. You will need to define rules and mechanisms to help our countries implement the agreement and transform economies."
 
On 12 December, the international community adopted the first universal pact committing all states to act against global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. In the face of the disruptions at work - heat waves, droughts, rising sea levels, melting glaciers - the agreement endorsed the objective of containing the rise in mercury "well below" 2° or even 1.5° compared to pre-industrial levels.
 
The task is immense because it implies that the world must turn away from fossil fuels to a large extent, and in particular support clean energy development in the countries of the South. But the Paris text does not detail the mechanisms for monitoring actions or the increase in funding. Moreover, the national commitments made at this stage to reduce emissions only make it possible to contain the rise to +3°, which implies re-evaluating the promises according to a process that remains to be specified.
 

Dive into the engine

 
In Bonn, the headquarters of the UN Convention on Climate Change, some 3,000 delegates are expected to begin work on all these projects. "Dive into the motor", as Figueres sums up.
 
On Monday, developing countries, some of the most vulnerable to climate disruption, reiterated the urgency of action, and issued warnings. There are " low-cost solutions« said Maldivian Thoriq Ibrahim, Chair of the Group of 44 Small Island States. « The only question is whether we are all going to work together fast and hard enough to avoid the disaster.« . Gold." we cannot find an answer to climate change without appropriate assistance. "from rich countries," he added.
"The work wasn't finished in Paris. Instead, it began," summed up Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, representing the least developed countries.
 
Along the same lines, the "Group of 77 + China" (134 developing and emerging countries) has also stressed the importance of acting before 2020, the date the agreement comes into force, if the world is to meet its objectives.
 
The Paris Agreement has already been signed by 177 States, 175 of them from the day it was opened for signature, a record for the United Nations. On Monday, there were many calls for rapid ratification (16 at this stage) to build political momentum.
 
Photo: Christiana Figueres
 

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