Climate Conference in Bonn starts on Monday 6 November

Press release 2017-11-03 at 9:59

The UN climate change negotiations continue in Bonn, Germany on 6-17 November. On the agenda are the details of the Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted in 2015, i.e. concrete rules on how the emissions and emissions reductions are to be reported and monitored. The rules should be decided in 2018. The aim for the Conference in Bonn is to prepare a draft proposal for further negotiations.

In addition to reporting and monitoring, a process is needed to assess the sufficiency of climate actions in total every five years and to further boost their implementation. The current climate actions are no enough to limit the rise in global average temperature to below two degrees.

The Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen heads the Finnish delegation during the second week of the meeting from 13 to 17 November. In particular, Minister Tiilikainen stresses the EU’s climate leadership now that the US has declared its withdrawal from the agreement.

“The global emissions must be on the decrease within the next five years. This can only be achieved if the worldwide commitment to climate work stays strong. What I expect from Bonn is proof of such commitment, including concrete steps in drafting the rules to implement the Paris Agreement” Tiilikainen says.

“It has been good to see that the US withdrawal has led to the other countries closing their ranks, while various other stakeholders such as cities and companies have become more active. Action is needed everywhere, but sustainable urban development is in a key position: the battle against climate change is won or lost in cities. In Finland the emissions especially from district heating and transport must be reduced soon”, he says.

The Presidency of the Conference is Fiji. This is the first time when the negotiations are led by a small island state. The island states of the Pacific have often been driving more ambitious policies as their very existence is under threat already within the next few decades if we cannot curb climate warming and rise in the sea level. What Fiji’s Presidency especially means is even stronger support for the 1.5 degree threshold and more attention to adaptation and damages and losses caused by climate change.

“We must ensure that the political will and spirit of Paris continues to show, and the firewall between the countries does not reappear. The details of the agreement should be finalised by the end of the year, so there is no time to be lost in Bonn – and Fiji really feels that”, says Outi Honkatukia, Chief Negotiator for Climate Change at the Ministry of the Environment. Honkatukia heads the Finnish delegation during the first week of the meeting.

The role of indigenous peoples is also among the priorities for Fiji. The role and functions of the International Indigenous Peoples´ Forum on Climate Change set up by the Paris Agreement are on the agenda for the first time in Bonn. The aim is to take account of the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and promote their involvement in international climate negotiations. Finland’s Sámi Parliament has been very active in climate negotiations and it also has a representative in the Finnish delegation.

The Paris Agreement entered into force a year ago and by now it has been ratified by 169 parties. In Finland good progress has been made in the national implementation. The National Energy and Climate Strategy was adopted in November 2016 and the medium-term climate change policy plan to2030 under the Climate Change Act was completed this autumn. Finland has also set as the target to be carbon neutral by 2045.

Besides the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change there will be numerous side events in Bonn. On the opening day on 6 November the Arctic Council, where Finland currently holds the chairmanship, will host an event with the theme "the global implications of a rapidly-changing Arctic". Various local stakeholders also have a strong presence in Bonn. The main event is the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders on 12 November, which brings more than a thousand participants and 320 political leaders to Bonn. 

The Conference and the Finnish delegation can be followed by reading the ministry’s blog and on twitter #ilmastoCOP23.

Inquiries:

Taru Savolainen, Special Adviser to Minister Tiilikainen, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 40 535 8622, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Outi Honkatukia, Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 50 341 1758, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Marjo Nummelin, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 227, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Riikka Lamminmäki, Communications Specialist, tel. +358 50 576 2604, firstname.lastname@ym.fi (requests for interviews with Minister Tiilikainen during the Bonn Climate Conference)