It’s that time of year where countries in the United Nations meet to discuss climate change. The UN Climate Change Conference (or COP23) is being held in Bonn, Germany, this year and is hosted by the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and presided over by Fiji. It is run from the 6th to the 17th of November.

The focus of this year’s conference is to advance the aims and ambitions of the Paris agreement that was agreed two years ago and progress its implementation guidelines. Research by the UNEP has found that the emission reductions that the pledges countries are making will only reduce global temperature rise by a third of what was set out in the Paris Agreement. It is clear that changes need to be made, and quickly!

This year’s conference will be divided into two zones, with a new concept of ‘one conference, two zones’ being used. The ‘Bula Zone’ will be where talks between governments will take place. ‘Bula’ originates from the word ‘hello’ in the Fijian language and is also a blessing of health and happiness. The second zone is the ‘Bonn Zone’. This is where events and exhibits will be held showcasing climate action as well as where media events will take place.


The two zones that will host governments and many climate exhibits over the course of COP23


What’s interesting about this conference in Bonn is that it will be climate neutral; emissions from travel, accomodation and local transport of national leaders and delegates to and from the conference will be offset. Renewable energy and energy efficiency will play an important role in the offsetting of emissions, but what isn’t offset through those methods will involve compensation, investment in climate protection projects in other places.


Train transporting delegates to Bonn that is running on renewable energy.


The next 12 days will be intersting in seeing how nations move forward in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Although reports suggest nations arent doing enough to reduce emissions in line with limiting temperature rise to 2℃, COP23 provides a platform for nations to commit to positive changes in reducing their impacts on climate change. It will be interesting to see what role one of the biggest contributors to climate change will be during the negotiations with the intention of the US to leave the Paris Agreement in 2020. Big improvements following the Paris Agreement need to be made, and soon!


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