[PRESS RELEASE] UN Climate talks end with much yet to be concluded

9th September 2018

One week of intense climate talks in Bangkok was expected to deliver significant progress in the UN climate change negotiations. Acknowledging that some progress has been made, there is a long list of outstanding questions that have been pushed to the next climate summit in Katowice, Poland.

The head of ACT Alliance’s delegation in Bangkok, Isaiah Kipyegon Toroitich, Global Policy and Advocacy Coordinator said, “All diplomats at this meeting are fully aware of the urgency and the need to find solutions to promote a green transformation and the strengthening of resilience for people around the world.” “It is disappointing that they could not make further progress with their negotiations,” he continued.

One of the thematic areas that parties have made some progress on is climate finance. However, there is an unwillingness from rich countries to meet the needs of developing countries when it comes to the predictability of climate finance. While there are already existing agreements around financial targets, states are negotiating the rules to determine how climate finance will be counted and reported.

“With no clear rules for climate finance, nice promises will become empty words,” said Håkon Grindheim, Climate Advisor, Norwegian Church Aid. “There is a need for grant-based support to deliver climate action. We do not need more loans, which many countries have been reporting as their financial commitments,” he continued.
To reduce ambition around climate finance some rich countries proposed full-flexibility and no concrete rules, sending the message that they are not willing to support the ambitious global efforts needed to tackle climate change.

Another clear distinction between poor and rich countries is around loss and damage due to the impacts of climate change, a pillar of the Paris Agreement. As the details of the agreement continue to be negotiated, loss and damage may lose its significance on the agenda.

Jessica Dator-Bercilla, Climate Change Advisor for Asia and the Middle East, Christian Aid said, “The most vulnerable victims of climate change are those who face loss and damage. Their situation must be acknowledged, and they must receive the necessary support.”

Several developed countries have pushed back on initiatives to discuss loss and damage. As a pillar of the Paris Agreement, loss and damage must be treated in the same way as other components of the climate debate.
A highly contested topic in the Bangkok session is accounting for the intended greenhouse gas reductions of parties. To reduce the demands that they would be expected to deliver on, some of the more recent, large emitting countries have blocked progress on this topic.

This has affected the climate talks, widening the gap between countries and rattling frustration. “ACT Alliance urges countries to stretch further to make progress. The world’s climate depends on it,” says Håkon Grindheim, Climate Advisor, Norwegian Church Aid.

ACT Alliance continues to call for increased solidarity and trust among countries in the climate change negotiations.

 

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For any media inquiries please contact Joanna Patouris, +1-647-971-5360 joanna.patouris@actalliance.org, Climate Change Communications Coordinator, ACT Alliance