2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference Opens in Bonn

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#COP23 Fiji Logo on solar panel background

The 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference has opened in Bonn, Germany with delegates from around the globe hoping to ensure greater momentum for the Paris Climate Change Agreement and to raise the level of ambition needed to address global warming.

COP 23, the Bonn Climate Conference, is presided over for the first time by a Small Island Developing State, Fiji, with logistical support from Germany. Frank Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji, focused on the human suffering caused by intensifying hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods and threats to food security, during his opening remarks.

For nearly two weeks, world leaders, delegates to COP23, UN officials, representatives from civil society and media, among others, will seek to determine ways on how to accelerate both national and global climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The gathering in Bonn comes as new data from the World Meteorological Organization indicate that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased to their highest levels in 800,000 years at a time when national commitments for resources needed to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius are lagging well behind what is required.

Achieving strengthened commitment to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement will help build support for the upcoming December 12 Summit in Paris, the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September 2018 and a further high-level summit in 2019.

The Bonn Climate Conference is expected to address three key issues: the state of climate today; future direction; and ways to achieve progress. Key for the next COP in Poland in 2018 will be work done to define the operating system for the Paris Agreement, the ways to help governments meet the goals of the Agreement.