• World
  • Jun 17
  • Kevin Savio Antony

Explainer - Bonn Climate Conference 2024

• The Bonn Climate Change Conference concluded after two weeks of intensive work across a range of issues where progress is needed on the path to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP29) this November in Baku, Azerbaijan.

• The Bonn Climate Change Conference of 2024 highlighted several key issues and points of contention regarding the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on climate finance.

Highlights of the meet:

1) Divergence on Contributor Base: There is a significant disagreement between developed and developing countries regarding who should contribute to the new climate finance goal. 

• Developed countries (Global North) want to expand the contributor base to include countries with growing economies and high emissions, arguing for a reflection of new economic realities.

• In contrast, developing countries argue that the NCQG should maintain its focus on financial transfers from developed to developing countries, citing historical responsibility for emissions.

2) Quantum of Finance: Developing countries, including groups like the LMDC, Arab group, and African Group of Negotiators, proposed substantial annual amounts (around $1.1-$1.3 trillion) as necessary for implementing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2030. 

• They emphasize the need for developed countries to commit to significant financial contributions, with clarity on amounts being crucial for further negotiations.

3) Imbalance in Text and Negotiations: Developing countries criticised the draft text of the NCQG for being imbalanced and favoring the positions of developed countries. 

• They argued that the text disproportionately focuses on a multi-layered approach to finance, which includes diverse sources and instruments, whereas developing countries’ proposals for clear financial commitments and thematic sub-goals received less attention.

4) Legal Definitions and Obligations: The debate over legal definitions such as ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries, and their obligations under the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC, remains contentious. 

• Developing countries stress the obligations of developed countries under existing agreements to provide financial support for climate action, while developed countries seek to reinterpret these obligations in light of current economic conditions and emissions profiles.

New Collective Quantified Goal on climate finance

• The NCQG will replace the unfulfilled $100 billion annual pledge made by developed nations in 2009, aiming to provide substantial climate finance to developing countries.

• It offers crucial financial resources for developing nations to invest in clean energy, adaptation strategies, and climate-resilient infrastructure, addressing their disproportionate vulnerability to climate impacts.

• By unlocking necessary funds, the NCQG facilitates the implementation of ambitious climate action plans aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, both for mitigation and adaptation efforts.

• It promotes a fair shift towards a low-carbon economy, fostering new job opportunities and protecting vulnerable communities from climate risks.

• Achieving the NCQG requires collaborative efforts between developed and developing countries, strengthening international cooperation and the global response to climate change.

(The author is a trainer for Civil Services aspirants.)

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