Bonn hosts negotiators for the 1st round of the “war” on climate finance

 Bonn hosts negotiators for the 1st round of the “war” on climate finance

Main item on the COP29 agenda, the future of climate finance is expected to trigger clashes between rich and poor countries during the intersessional meeting in Bonn.

From Climainfo

The 60th meeting of the subsidiary bodies (SB60) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) started this Monday in the German city of Bonn. A traditional gauge of the direction of pre-COP climate negotiations, this year’s meeting has an even more delicate mission than in previous occasions: to lay the groundwork for countries to define new climate finance targets from 2025 onwards.

As explained by the Climate Observatory, the expectation is for countries to begin shaping the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) for finance, which will succeed the promised – and sparsely fulfilled, according to a new OECD survey – goal set by rich countries in 2009 to provide at least $100 billion annually from 2020.

This new target needs to be defined at COP29 in Baku, scheduled for November in Azerbaijan. However, if countries fail to kickstart this work now in Bonn, the mission will be even more challenging by the end of the year, with the not insignificant risk of a collapse in negotiations.

The outlook is not optimistic. Ideas and positions abound, but understandings are lacking. For example, speculated figures for the new financial target range from $1 trillion to $2 trillion annually by 2030, values well above the $100 billion annual promise made in 2009, but still insufficient to unlock global climate action in this decade.

Divergences are widespread: countries disagree on aspects such as sources for climate financing, potential recipients of these funds, fund governance, the scope and modalities of financing, and the volume of these allocations.

All of this would already be challenging in a peaceful world, with countries acting cooperatively. In the current context, marked by tensions caused by the wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip and geopolitical confrontations between the United States, Russia, China, and Europe, the task takes on the characteristics of a herculean effort.

The first day of SB60 has already set the tone for these difficulties. The opening plenary, where the work agenda is adopted, was not concluded due to disagreements among countries regarding a proposal from Bolivia, which seeks to discuss net-zero plans for developed countries by 2030.

Another, even more delicate issue, is the situation of the Russian delegation at the meeting: the German government did not grant visas to four Moscow representatives accused of war crimes in Ukraine. As a result, Russia has stated that it will obstruct all discussions in Bonn as long as its delegation remains incomplete.

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