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    UN Climate Chief: Achieving 1.5°C Goal Requires Greater Global Cooperation


    UN Climate Chief Warns of Dire Consequences Without Urgent Action at Bonn Climate Change Conference

    The Bonn Climate Change Conference opened on Monday with a stark warning from UN climate chief Simon Stiell: the world is currently on a path to 2.7°C of warming, and the challenge to limit it to 1.5°C is immense. Stiell emphasized the critical need for international cooperation, highlighting that without it, global temperatures could soar to a catastrophic 5°C, threatening the survival of much of humanity.

    Addressing the opening plenary of the conference, Stiell stated, “We are now headed for around 2.7°C. This is still ruinously high, and there’s a long and steep road ahead to get to our shared goal of 1.5°C this century. We should be energized that we are approaching a halfway point, but it’s clear that the second half of humanity’s climate journey will be even harder. Climate action will need to move at a faster pace. We cannot afford rest-stops or detours.”

    The Bonn talks, scheduled from June 3 to 13, mark a critical midpoint leading up to the 29th Conference of Parties (COP29) in Azerbaijan later this year. During the conference, Nabeel Munir, chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of UNFCCC, highlighted the urgency of the climate crisis, citing recent extreme weather events like the heatwave in India and a devastating landslide in Papua New Guinea.

    “Climate change is no longer a distant threat but a reality affecting each of us. In Pakistan and India, temperatures soared to 50°C; in Panama, an entire island is sinking,” Munir said, urging participants to consider these events when formulating decisions.

    COP29 president-designate Mukhtar Babayev called the conference a critical milestone. “Our future rests on us coming together to build the fair and ambitious solutions needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and build a resilient world,” Babayev said. He stressed the importance of making progress on a new climate finance goal and other key negotiation topics.

    One of the conference’s significant focuses is setting a new finance goal to replace the current $100 billion per year target. The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG) discussions have been contentious, with developed and developing nations often presenting opposing views. Stiell urged for progress on finance, calling it “the great enabler of climate action.”

    “Here in Bonn, I urge you to move from zero-draft to real options for a new collective quantified goal on climate finance. We cannot afford to reach Baku with too much work still to do,” Stiell said. He emphasized the need for new grants and concessional finance to developing countries, coupled with global financial reforms.

    Stiell also called for a new round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that are 1.5°C-compatible. “This new round of national climate plans — NDCs 3.0 — will be among the most important policy documents produced so far this century,” he said.

    The conference’s agenda was adopted on Monday after overcoming initial blocks by climate activists and Russia. Experts stressed the importance of addressing the demands of developing countries regarding climate finance.

    Sehr Raheja, a programme officer for climate change at the Centre for Science and Environment, stated, “For Bonn to be successful, significant progress on the new climate finance goal is necessary. The deliberations at this mid-year mark must make strides towards an ambitious draft negotiating text as we move towards COP29.”

    As the conference continues, the urgency of the discussions is underscored by the unprecedented weather events affecting various parts of the world, as highlighted by the Third World Network, a non-profit research and advocacy group.

    “The climate talks are taking place in what appears to be a rather cold Bonn, with low temperatures unlike the usual summer weather, and with unprecedented and unbearable heatwaves in many parts of the world, which have already claimed lives and are causing much disruption,” the group noted in a bulletin on Monday.

    Sources By Agencies

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