Bonn climate talks show progress, but sense of urgency needed

Posted on 26 May 2016

BONN (26 May, 2016) – Climate negotiators, ending almost two weeks of discussions in Bonn today (Thursday 26 May), have made solid, if slow, progress in developing rules and tools that will guide implementation of the global climate deal adopted in Paris last year.
Mark Lutes, WWF’s Head of Delegation to the Bonn meeting, said while governments appear committed to making the Paris Agreement operational as soon as possible, the urgency that drove the negotiations in Paris was definitely missing in Bonn.
“News that the world had experienced seven straight months of record-breaking global heat, including reports of an extreme heat-wave in India, underscored the need for urgent action. But it did not affect the rather methodical and almost complacent pace and tone of the proceedings,” he said.
“Governments need to step back from the exclusive focus on technical matters, and also focus on paving the way for transformative and accelerated action to put the world on a path to emissions-free development and a transition to 100 per cent renewables,” he said.
These sentiments were echoed by Josefina Braña-Varela, Senior Director of Forest and Climate, who underscored the importance of integrating forests, land, and REDD+ into the architecture of the new climate regime. "While Parties continue to work on operationalizing the Paris Agreement, we must not forget the urgency of ambitious climate action, especially in the forest and land sector."
Lutes said Patricia Espinoza, the incoming UNFCCC Executive Secretary, will have her hands full ensuring that urgency was brought back to the discussions.
Lutes said WWF was expecting countries to make specific progress by the time they gather again in Marrakech in November. The COP in Marrakech presents a great opportunity to highlight the opportunities and need for urgently scaling up renewable energy.
Notes for Editors:
  1. Read WWF’s expectations for the Bonn Intersessional here:
  2. See WWF’s info graphic for the Bonn Intersessional here:
For further information, contact:
Mandy Jean Woods / +27 72 393 0027
Samantha Smith  / +47 450 22 149
Mark Lutes  / +55 11 97029 0811
About WWF - WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
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