Bonn 2024: Laying the Groundwork for Global Climate Action from Baku to Belém

Authored by Juan Pablo Hoffmaister, Associate Vice President for Global Engagement at Environmental Defense Fund 

The international climate community is convening in Bonn, Germany, for the 60th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC this June—and they will set the tone for the next year of global climate engagement. The sessions in Bonn are a vital mid-year checkpoint and a precursor to COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan. 

Discussions in Bonn, hosted at the UNFCCC headquarters, will prepare for the critical negotiations that will unfold in Baku and subsequently in Belém, Brazil, at COP30. 

Although this year’s COP29 is projected to be smaller in scale than past years due to spatial and financial constraints, it will be no less consequential: Participating countries must come together to finalize a critical agreement: the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on climate finance. This new finance goal is anticipated to significantly shape how countries can realistically implement their new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)–each country’s national climate commitments—due in 2025.  

Given the major milestones lined up for COP29 and COP30, the June sessions in Bonn need to set the tone for heightened ambition and climate progress, especially on the complexities of climate finance, policy coherence, and equity. 

Here are our top themes to watch during Bonn, and how EDF is working to support a positive outcome: 

Setting a New Climate Finance Goal

The NCQG will be essential for enabling effective climate action globally, with a strong focus on supporting the needs and priorities of developing countries. As negotiations unfold, the objective is clear: to promote ambitious and achievable financial commitments that will help scale climate action and provide a clear trajectory toward the 2025 NDCs and beyond. 

By establishing this new finance goal, the international community seeks to ensure that every country has the necessary support to implement effective climate solutions, thereby fostering a more equitable global approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

  • EDF is actively participating in the dialogues around the new goal, and submitted suggestions calling for ambitious, quality financial commitments and a transparent process to support effective implementation of the goal. 

Ensuring Equity in Climate Action

A significant focus will also be on the Just Transition Work Programme, which aims to embed the principles of a just transition into global climate policy frameworks. It’s about ensuring that the shift towards a low-carbon future is equitable, supporting sustainable development that benefits all sectors of society without leaving anyone behind. 

  • EDF recently published our Just Transition and Safeguards Framework, which offers a roadmap for countries and companies alike to successfully navigate the complexities of transitioning to clean energy while ensuring fairness and equity at every step of the way. We’ll be working to socialize the EDF framework’s guidance as countries engaged in the Just Transition Work Programme continue their deliberations. 

Accelerating Action on Food & Agriculture

Food was on the table at COP28, as the conference opened with a declaration on sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems, and climate action endorsed by 159 countries. Negotiations will resume with renewed momentum in Bonn. The goal is to accelerate action on climate resilient practices that ensure food security and address environmental impacts effectively by 2025, and to review and enhance country commitments, including through enhancing NDCs, developing specific investment pipelines, and unlocking various forms of finance. 

  • EDF is engaging with stakeholders and partners aiming to accelerate both climate mitigation and adaptation in the global food and agriculture sector through finance. This includes supporting farmers’ livelihoods, climate-resilient food systems, and environmental protection. 

Making Progress on Article 6: Advancing Cooperative Implementation

While there was a lack of progress on Article 6 forms and reporting procedures at COP28, implementation of the mechanism is proceeding at the national level. This year, we’ve already seen the first notifications of transactions under article 6.2 continue to deliver high-integrity climate action. Since COP28, countries aiming to work together on climate action through carbon markets have signed 13 new bilateral agreements. 

Efforts to operationalize Article 6.4 will focus on key decisions left over from COP28, particularly on the development of methodological guidance and on the crediting of removals under this mechanism. The Article 6.4 Supervisory Board has made progress since COP28 on other significant issues, such as the consideration of sustainable development benefits and the establishment of a grievances and appeals procedure, heralding potential renewed willingness to reach solutions from different negotiating partners. 

Establishing robust international market and non-market cooperative approaches will be essential for funding and facilitating global climate action, aiming to overcome previous impasses and enhance economic sustainability.  

  • While EDF will be monitoring Article 6 developments closely, our active engagement will be shaped by the progress and direction of these discussions. We aim to ensure Article 6 can serve as a high-integrity tool to deliver an efficient flow of financial capital from the Global North to the Global South to meet their Paris Agreement goals. Read more about our Article 6 perspective here.  

Treating Our Oceans as Critical Allies in Climate Mitigation

Discussions in Bonn will also cover marine biodiversity conservation, coastal resilience, and innovative financing for ocean-based climate solutions, recognizing the integral role of oceans in the broader climate regulation framework.  

  • EDF plans to participate in the oceans and climate change process, building on our involvement in the climate action outcomes related to oceans at COP28. We worked in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to announce the Aquatic Food Breakthrough for 2030: a goal to provide at least US$ 4 billion per year to support resilient aquatic food systems that will contribute to healthy, regenerative ecosystems and sustain the food and nutrition security for three billion people.  

Strengthening Partnerships with all Actors

Participating countries are not the only ones responsible for climate action: progress depends on cooperation with all non-state actors. That is the ethos of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MP-GCA), a platform for coordinated climate action between governments and non-state actors like companies, communities, Indigenous Peoples, faith communities, and more. In the MP-GCA, High-Level Champions (HLCs) lead efforts to turn ideas into action and foster collaboration on projects that can seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make the world more resilient to climate change impacts. 

  • At EDF, we share this “everyone in” mentality: we believe in activating everyone on climate, from businesses to communities to governments. In Bonn, EDF will focus on our work with the High-Level Champions (HLCs) and the sectoral leads of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MP-GCA). By collaborating with other non-state actors and the private sector, EDF aims to drive collective progress and amplify our impact on global climate initiatives. 

The Road to COP30: Making it to Belem, Brazil

As we move from these Bonn climate talks to COP29 in Baku and onward to COP30 in Brazil, the discussions set the stage for crucial global climate action. These negotiations, enriched by Brazil’s focus on nature and forests, are pivotal as they coincide with significant global environmental conventions, including the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with its own COP happening in October in Colombia. Each conference is an opportunity to forge policies that harness natural ecosystems for climate mitigation and adaptation. 

  • During Bonn, EDF will be engaged in discussions on forest conservation efforts through the Jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Assistance Partnership (JTAP), an initiative to support jurisdictions and local partners to participate in high-integrity voluntary carbon markets to catalyze tropical forest conservation and finance at scale.  

A successful outcome at COP depends on incremental collective progress throughout the year. Bonn is a critical moment to connect the dots between the upcoming moments for global climate engagement. Whether discussions focus on biodiversity, desertification, finance or just transition, weaving together the common threads and finding the synergies between them is key to taking actions that solve for multiple problems and benefit climate, communities, and ecosystems all at once.  

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