The UN Climate Change Conference this year from 6 to 17 November is hosted by the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn but convenes under the Presidency of Fiji, the first small island developing nation to assume the Presidency of UN climate negotiations.
The Conference will comprise sessions of:
- The Conference of the Parties (COP 23);
- The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 13);
- The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1.2);
- The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 47);
- The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 47);
- The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1.4).
The Presidency’s vision for COP 23 is described by Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama as “a Presidency that is transparent and inclusive of all, advances the Paris Agreement and accelerates climate action for all vulnerable societies, drawing on our own experiences as a Small Island Developing State in the Pacific.”
The COP 23 is key in setting the rules on how to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement before the finalisation of the Implementation Guidelines next year at COP 24 in Poland. At the same time the Fijian Presidency is keen to secure continuous attention for enhanced pre-2020 action and putting a greater focus on the most vulnerable population, implying the need for urgent climate action. The conference will also provide clarity on how the Facilitative Dialogue 2018 will be conducted. The Facilitative Dialogue 2018 is the first moment where Parties will take stock of their collective efforts towards the long-term temperature goal and inform the updating or submission of NDCs ahead of 2020.
Further, the negotiations will concentrate on guidance to the financial mechanisms and adaptation finance, adaptation communications, the transparency framework, the Global Stocktake, the empowerment of women in decision making, loss and damage, capacity building, as well as the Technical Examination Processes on Mitigation and Adaptation, among others.
Regional governments at COP 23
The negotiations of the Parties will be complemented by a variety of side events organised by governments, the UNFCCC and other UN organisations, as well as observer organisations, including the nrg4SD.
Members of the nrg4SD and its RegionsAdapt initiative will present their contributions on the implementation of the goals of the Paris Agreement and contribute to scale up ambition on climate action by showcasing success stories and innovative solutions. The position of regional governments will be transported through the multiple side events organised and co-organised by the nrg4SD. In addition, regional governments and their regional and international organisations will present their joint position that was formulated as the outcome of the second edition of the International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation “Islands, land of innovative solutions for all territories.” The conference took place from 5 to 6 October in Reunion Island and was organised by the Regional Council of Reunion Island and the nrg4SD.
A series of events is also organised under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MP-GCA) structured around the seven thematic areas of the Partnership (energy, industries, transport, land use, water, oceans and coastal zone, and human settlements). The events of the MP-GCA are divided into the thematic days, taking place between 10 and 12 November, and the high-level days on 13 and 14 November.
The events for the human settlements theme, including an event jointly organised by the nrg4SD and CDP, are taking place on Saturday, 11 November. This thematic day aims to make recommendations on mitigation and adaptation, highlight progress and promising initiatives, outline how the different actors within the human settlements theme can contribute to implement the Paris Agreement, and promote actions and commitments from different sectors.
The high-level day on Monday, 13 November is dedicated to SDG 11. It will consist of different high-level roundtables organised by members of the human settlements content group, including the nrg4SD, showing how the engagement of human settlement stakeholders have shifted into an implementation phase since the adoption of the Paris Agreement and SDG 11.
The Global Climate Action Champions, Hakima El Haite from Morocco and Minister Inia Seruiratu from Fiji, will bring the outcome of the MP-GCA events to the COP 23 High-level Segment, and will also present the first Climate Action Yearbook at COP 23 which will enable Parties to have a strategic navigation tool based on the voice of the coalitions in the different thematic areas.
One of the highlights for regional governments at COP 23 will be the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. Co-hosted by the City of Bonn and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, with support from the German Federal Government and endorsed by the COP23 Presidency and Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, UN agencies and EU institutions, it will be the focal point for local and regional governments at COP23. The Summit is designed to unlock key partnerships, strengthen collaboration and facilitate direct interaction with national delegates. It will also act as a launch pad for a number of initiatives and partnerships, pushing for swift, effective and integrated climate action across the world, and particularly in climate vulnerable areas of Africa, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. As part of the Advisory Group to the Summit the nrg4SD supported its organisation throughout the year.
The BreatheLife Campaign
The COP 23 is also an occasion for the launch and announcement of new initiatives and partnerships. In this regard, the nrg4SD will announce during COP 23 that it will join the BreatheLife Campaign as the first regional governments network, supporting efforts to combat the global challenges of air pollution. Launched in October 2016 and led by UN Environment, together with the World Health Organization and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Campaign aims at mobilising subnational governments and individuals from all around the world to take action on the issue of air pollution and set air quality targets, while improving public health and slowing the rate of climate change. It seeks to raise awareness on potential solutions to reduce air pollution and at the same time contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Recognising the importance of addressing the topic, members of the nrg4SD will join the Campaign in order to strengthen their actions of fighting air pollution.
nrg4SD COP 23 activities at a glance
- NOV 11th 11:30 – 13:00: Marrakech Partnership Human Settlements thematic day event: Multi-level governance – An opportunity for effective climate change adaptation (nrg4SD, CDP)
- NOV 11th 15:00 – 16:30: Filling the gaps: How subnational governments accelerate action in climate adaptation (nrg4SD, Energies 2050)
- NOV 11th 18:30 – 20:00: Marrakech Partnership Human Settlements thematic day closing roundtable: Recommendations for sustainable human settlements
- NOV 12th 08:30 – 18:00: Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders
- NOV 13th 11:30 – 13:00: Official Side Event: Implementing NDCs: Planning and coordination at the regional, national and sub national level (nrg4SD, Pakistan, SACEP)
- NOV 13th 14:30: Announcement of nrg4SD Regions joining the BreatheLife Campaign at the Sustainable Innovation Forum (UN Environment, nrg4SD)
- NOV 13th 16:45 – 18:15: Marrakech Partnership High-Level Roundtable on SDG 11: Implementing the Paris Agreement: The role of regions and cities in resilience and adaptation (nrg4SD, ICLEI, Red Cross)
- NOV 15th 15:00 – 16:30: Adaptation under the Paris Agreement: The potential of regional governments (nrg4SD)
-  The Bula Spirit is the concept of the Fijian Presidency of inclusiveness, friendliness and solidarity