Ministers Urged to Drive Ambition and Fairness as All Eyes Turn to Paris

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At the close of the last negotiating session before ministers, heads of state, and negotiators meet in Paris to finalise what should be a comprehensive, ambitious, and universal climate agreement, parties are leaving with a clearer idea of the outline of the deal.

After a week of careful negotiating, there was concordance reached on some options, while discussion on other issues was taken as far as possible without the involvement of ministers and heads of state. During this session, parties took ownership of the text, building out their bloc positions and deepening a shared understanding on some contentious topics.

Ministers will begin to examine the text at the pre-COP, taking place on November 8-10 in Paris, before the discussion moves to COP21 on November 30. Support for ambitious climate action has never been higher, and leaders from the business, faith, national security, health, and justice communities around the world will assemble in Paris to display the full breadth of the movement.

On the ground in Bonn, Climate Action Network (CAN) members made the following comments: 

Jennifer Morgan, Global Director of the Climate Program at the World Resources Institute, said: “Negotiators made some significant strides here in Bonn but a much more vigorous pace is needed to secure a strong climate agreement in just a few weeks. We’ve been running a marathon for years to reach to this point. Now we need an all-out sprint to get over the finish line in Paris. This week negotiators took full ownership over crafting the draft agreement which demonstrates their strong commitment to a successful outcome in Paris. This determination needs to continue at all levels to connect the dots between the negotiations and the ministerial gatherings ahead of COP 21.

“The current state of the draft agreement reflects how close countries are to reaching consensus on key topics. For example, progress was made on mitigation and transparency where negotiators are now debating the details, while on adaptation and finance there remain more fundamental differences. Over 150 countries have put forward national climate plans, an unprecedented achievement. Now countries need to solidify the rules and norms to maximise the impact of these plans and drive climate action for decades to come.”

Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace, said: “Everyone wants to play their cards late. But not everyone can have the ace of spades. This process is too important to be a high risk poker game. They need to put down their cards, and play together as a team.”

Tasneem Essop, WWF, said: “Let us not underestimate what is at stake here. Impacts are already hitting home, affecting the world’s most vulnerable people and ecosystems first and foremost. That is why a Paris agreement must feature solutions to address the loss and damage caused by mounting climate impacts, affecting people and places from Manila to California. We know that finance is left to the last moments of negotiations and used as a bargaining chip. But governments need to know that this last moment is now. They now only have just six weeks to figure that out. We need to be clear about the scale, the predictability and additionality of the financial support needed to help countries cut emissions and adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change.”

Alix Mazounie, RAC France, said: “The French presidency will need to play a critical role. Until the very last minute of the very last night of the Paris COP, they will be the gate-keepers of ambition and fairness. A success in Paris is not only about signing a universal deal, but about signing an ambitious universal deal. And while some countries may have chosen to keep us out of the room here in Bonn, they won’t be able to avoid us in Paris. We will be massively taking to the streets on November 28th and 29th—not just in Paris, but in cities all over the world. With our calls for climate action, we will make our voices heard throughout the talks. At the close of the COP, we will take to the streets of Paris again, reminding the leaders that we will not stop demanding progress and holding them accountable.”