Conclusion of Bonn Climate Negotiations


With over 8,000 participants, the Bonn Climate Conference, held between June 3rd and 13th, was seen as an important indicator of progress on key issues, such as finance, mitigation ambition and implementing the outcomes of the Global Stocktake (GST). However, on many of these critical issues, Parties’ views were deeply divergent, and delegates were slow to make steps towards one another, underscoring the challenges they face going into COP 29.

On the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on climate finance, which will define climate action for the coming years and is set to be decided at COP 29, Parties made little progress, and many expressed their disappointment on this. Nevertheless, there did seem to be broad agreement in the room that access to finance must be improved and that the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) be used as a basis for the transparency arrangements of the goal, although it will require updating, which could lead to disagreements.

Remarkably, discussions have still not turned to the quantum of the goal, and with only two meetings left before Parties must reach a decision on the NCQG, one can rightfully fear that progress remains too slow. The Arab Group and the African Group suggested that the goal be 1.3 trillion USD per year, but developed countries clearly indicated that they were not prepared to discuss the quantum. For developed countries, the surrounding elements must first be determined as they will inform the quantum – such as the contributor base (notably including developing but high-emitting countries, eg. China and Gulf States) and whether private finance should be included within the goal. There is also stark disagreement on whether the goal should include Loss and Damage as a sub-goal.

Parties also cannot agree to a timeframe, with many developing countries calling for a five-year goal with a review every five years aligned with NDCs’ submissions, whereas developed countries are calling for a ten-year goal.

The co-chairs will prepare a new ‘input paper’ in time for the third meeting of the ad hoc work programme on the NCQG, which, according to the Parties, should be shorter while not removing any substance and should contain a synthesis of Party proposals.

The key decision from the Dubai COP was the outcome of the Global Stocktake (GST). The negotiations in Bonn were an important opportunity to discuss the implementation of the outcomes decided in Dubai and, separately, to improve the procedural and logistical elements of the GST process based on the experiences of the first GST.

Little progress was made in the second week, since our last newsletter. As we explained, in discussions to operationalise the dialogue established as part of the GST outcomes, many developed countries and AOSIS argued that the dialogue should consider all aspects of the GST outcome, including efforts to cut emissions, whereas the African Group and LMDCs argued that it should focus solely on finance and means of implementation as these are the enablers of the transition. AILAC and LDCs proposed re-conciliating these views by ensuring that the dialogue follows up on all GST outcomes, with a specific focus on finance and means of implementation. This was included in an informal note and will be discussed in Baku in November.

On the annual GST dialogue to facilitate sharing of experiences for how the GST is informing the NDC process, Parties continued sharing their views. There seemed to be general agreement that information from the IPCC’s 7th assessment cycle should be considered and that documents submitted to inform the GST should start with a summary of key points.

Progress on operationalising the Global Goal of Adaptation (GGA) and specifically the work programme on GGA indicators was slow, but Parties eventually reached a conclusion text following negotiations running into the night on the penultimate day. The main sticking point concerned the role the Adaptation Committee (AC) was to play in ‘mapping’ the exisiting adaptation indicators for the two-year UAE-Belém work programme. Developed Parties claiming that the AC should take a lead role in this process. G77 countries, fearing a lack of transparency and loss of control over the process, wanted to form a new expert group to conduct the mapping process, with the AC supporting it. Finally, Parties compromised and agreed to a footnote in the conclusions text, leaving the different options open for future talks. Ultimately, the issue has not been resolved and will likely be the source of many discussions in Baku.

Developing countries also wanted to ensure that finance would be considered as one of the key indicators. Essentially, this did not make it into the conclusion text due to opposition by developed Parties but will likely be considered further in Baku. At least these conclusions will enable the launch of substantive work on adaptation indicators, even if these are not necessarily those some Parties would have liked to have seen included.

Following the absence of a decision on issues relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement in Dubai, Parties were due to pursue these discussions in Bonn with a view to having a fully functional art. 6 by the end of COP 29.

Progress remained slow throughout the conference on art. 6.2 and 6.4. However, there was notable advance on one sticky point that has historically slowed progression. Parties agreed that ‘emissions avoidance’ activities will not be eligible to generate credits at least until 2028, when the process will be reassessed. Parties also agreed to hold intersessional workshops to address some of the key issues remaining to be resolved, including – in relation to art.6.2 – authorisation, sequencing, addressing inconsistencies in the agreed electronic format, first transfer and registries and – in relation to art.6.4, various matters relating to authorisation and the mechanism registry.

Since COP 27, where the Just Transition Work Programme (JTWP) was established, progress has stalled on its focus. Notably, developed countries view it as focusing on employment, whereas developing countries adopt a much broader view.

In an attempt to structure discussions on the JTWP, G77+China proposed a work plan covering the period until 2026. Many developed countries firmly opposed this. Parties also continued to disagree on the interpretation of the work programme’s ‘modalities’, which must be decided to enable the programme to start working.

With the prospect of mere procedural conclusions, Parties negotiated into the early hours of the penultimate day (13th of June) and Parties agreed to draft conclusions and took note of an informal note prepared by the co-chairs. Although there is no work plan included in these conclusions, there is a placeholder in the informal note for a work plan to be potentially decided in Baku.

The most frustrated negotiators of the session were likely those working on mitigation ambition and implementation. With two years remaining for the Mitigation Work Programme (MWP), Parties were unable to reach a conclusion at this session. Ultimately, Parties disagreed on whether the outcome should reflect mere procedural elements or substantive elements.

Various groups (AOSIS, EIG, EU, AILAC, Japan) called for a decision building on the outcomes of the GST, which had called on Parties to transition away from fossil fuels ‘in this critical decade’ and encouraged them to submit NDCs (due by February 2025) with ambitious, economy-wide emission reduction targets aligned with the 1.5 degrees goal. However, LMDCs and the Arab Group firmly opposed this, claiming that the GST should not be reflected in a decision on the MWP.

In an attempt to progress with discussions, the co-chairs produced draft conclusions and an informal note. This sparked vast criticism and was the source of many discussions throughout the final days, including during the closing plenary as the LMDCs and the Arab Group argued that they had not been mandated to produce this text and thus refused to engage with it. As such, the negotiations were blocked on this crucial stream and rule 16 of the draft rules of procedure had to be applied, placing the issue on the agenda for SB 61.

On the linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism Parties were able to forward draft conclusions that were adopted and will inform discussions in Baku. On Research and Systematic Observation, a draft conclusion was also forwarded despite it being in doubt towards the end of the session. Nevertheless, on both these themes, as on many others, many Parties were left disappointed with the outcomes of the discussions. More positive results were achieved on Agriculture with Parties agreeing to a roadmap for further work until November 2026.