The world has gathered at the Bonn Climate Change Summit (SB58), an event halfway between COP27 and COP28, to discuss the progress made on last year’s conference mandates and prepare a roadmap for the upcoming one in Dubai later this year.
The conference commenced on World Environment Day, June 5, and will end on June 15. More than 50 focus areas, including the Global Stocktake, adaptation, just transition, loss and damage, and the mitigation work program, were discussed during the ten-day-long conference.
From calling for a just and equitable energy transition to asking developing countries to keep their promises of funding, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate for COP28, highlighted some key issues during the conference, emphasizing the importance of inclusion. He stressed the need to listen to indigenous voices to develop mechanisms that leave no one behind.
JUST ENERGY TRANSITION AND INCLUSION
Addressing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Al Jaber said that while the phasing down of fossil fuels was inevitable, the communities and countries dependent on them must be taken care of before the energy transition happens.
“The phasedown of fossil fuels is inevitable. The speed at which this happens depends on how quickly we can phase up zero-carbon alternatives while ensuring energy security, accessibility, and affordability,” he said.
“We will reach out to engage every community and seek to include the active participation of the under-represented, including young people and indigenous peoples. And we will give the space and enabling environment to discuss, debate, and align on every mandate across every climate pillar,” he added.
During his discussions with the G77+ China Group, Al Jaber stressed their vital role in shaping negotiations across parties. He added that climate finance would play a key role in these negotiations. He reiterated his commitment to reforming global financial institutions, unlocking more concessional finance, and attracting more private capital.
Engaging with delegates from Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Al Jaber underscored the need for adaptation and securing resources, especially food and health, for the affected SIDS.
“Everyone is affected, and the most vulnerable communities who have done the least to cause climate change are the most affected,” he said.
Making up about 5% of the global population, indigenous communities protect more than 80% of the earth’s biodiversity. Jaber listened to their priorities and assured Indigenous People across nations that their voices would be heard. The role of Indigenous Peoples as custodians of nature will be recognized by an “Indigenous Peoples Pavilion” at COP28.
Emphasizing the importance of building on the mandates of COP27, Al Jaber said, “It is critical that we build on the successes of COP27 to focus on the needs of the most vulnerable communities and make transformational progress across mitigation, adaptation, finance, and loss and damage,” he said.
In an important turn of events, a Youth Stocktake was introduced as a complementary initiative to the first Global Stocktake at SB58.
Recognizing the power of youth, Al Jaber said, “Within the COP28 team, nearly 70% of our negotiators are under age 35. The COP28 Presidency and the Youth Climate Champion are committed to supporting and enabling greater access for youth, especially from underrepresented communities, through key initiatives such as the International Youth Climate Delegates Programme.”
“Through this Youth Stocktake, we will identify the gaps for youth inclusion and build on efforts to enhance access, capacity, and resources for young people,” he added.
He introduced COP28’s Youth Climate Champion, Shamma Al Mazrui. The COP28 Presidency has also selected the first International Youth Climate Delegate Programme cohort of 100 youth delegates, representing the world’s least-developed countries, SIDS, Indigenous Peoples, and minority groups.
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