UNFCCC: At UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, one of three UNFCCC negotiating bodies suspends work

At the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, work under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC’s) Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) has been suspended without governments formally adopting an agenda for the body’s work at this two-week session.

The SBI is one of the UNFCCC’s two permanent subsidiary bodies, along with the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). It is tasked to give advice to the Conference of the Parties (COP), the UNFCCC’s decision-making body, on all matters concerning the implementation of the Convention.

Among other things, the SBI reviews the financial assistance given to developing country governments to help them adapt to climate change and transition towards low-carbon growth, and provides advice to governments on guidance to the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism and other support systems.

A proposal by Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine to include procedural and legal issues relating to decision-making within the agenda of the SBI was not accepted by the majority of governments, in the precise way in which the three Parties had requested it.

“Countries have between now and the beginning of the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw to unblock the situation so that relevant decisions can be taken at the meeting. It is essential that the time is used for discussions at the highest political level on how to resolve the issue so that this body can take forward its important work,” said Tomasz Chruszczow,” Chair of the SBI.

“Whilst this development is unfortunate, much good work has been accomplished under the other two bodies at these Bonn sessions of the UNFCCC. Governments here have made further progress towards the design of the new universal climate change agreement and on identifying ways to immediately respond to climate change so that the world stands a chance of staying below the agreed maximum 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.

In Bonn, the “Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” (ADP) and SBSTA continue their work until the end of this week. The climate change negotiation is tasked both to complete a universal climate agreement by 2015 that will come into force from 2020, and to find ways to increase the current inadequate level of global ambition to address human-generated climate change before the end of the decade.

As well as the main objectives mentioned by Ms. Figueres, detailed discussions included the role of adaptation in the 2015 agreement and how to transform the world’s energy systems quickly enough towards low-carbon.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn ends on 14 June and is the last UNFCCC negotiating session before the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw (11 – 22 November). UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres is scheduled to give a press briefing on 14 June at 13:15 (CEST).

Press release

About the UNFCCC

With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

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