2017-06-12 | Climate Change Talks: Energy Efficiency and Ambition

Gamarjoba NGO’s (CLEEN member from Georgia) leader Olga Podosenova took part in the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn (Germany). Together with Ecodefense team she worked on publishing a Russian-newsletter for observers during the negotiations #Below 2.
By the time the May Talks began in Bonn, the Paris Agreement had been ratified by 145 of 197 members of the UNFCCC. Georgia submitted the documents for the ratification on the first day of the Bonn Conference and became 145th state to join the Paris Agreement.

The main purpose of the conference was to maintain the dynamics and the attitude established during the talks in Paris and Marrakech. The instruments should be developed quickly to achieve ambitious goals, including the major one, i.e. to retain the global warming within 2 (or even 1,5) degrees Celsius.
To encourage the representatives of national governments, the Secretariat of the Convention organized the Climate Action Fair in Bonn with the aim to demonstrate the unprecedented involvement of people, businesses, cities and regions in anti-climate change activities. Numerous meetings, a workshop with a focus on innovations, and many other events were held during the Climate Action Fair.

Local urban and rural development was one of the major focuses during the latest climate change talks. Several events of the Bonn conference were dedicated to cities’ initiatives, i.e. improvement of energy efficiency and implementation of energy saving programs. These are the focus of areas of #CLEEN project that has joined NGOs from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia.

According to experts, local authorities are nowadays much more ambitious than the leaders of the states: Copenhagen (Denmark), Antwerp (Belgium), the Province of Siena (Italy), Palmerstone (USA). have undertaken to totally reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Malmo (Sweden), Cincinnati, Santa Cruz (USA) and other cities have undertaken to switch to 100% use of renewable energy. You can find out more about your cities’ initiatives and try to find your city there on the map ‘Local Governments for Sustainability’ ICLEI and on the Mayor Covenant map.

During Bonn talks, women's participation in anti-climate change initiative was discussed. WEDO (Women's Environment and Development Organization) presented the action plan regarding the gender issues to the conference participants. According to the WECF leader Sasha Gabizon, the key to traditional knowledge is the key to awareness and change, and therefore, indigenous peoples should be fully participate in climate negotiations at national, local and international levels. It is also important that budgets of different levels be discussed with the participation of women. Today, women make up only 30% of the official delegations of the Parties at the meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In addition, #WECF and representatives of other NGOs took part in a flash mob to incite the official delegations to strengthen their anti-climate change ambitions.
One of the major issues discussed the session was the Mechanism of Sustainable Development. The states have submitted their proposals regarding this issue to the Secretariat, which is very important for international projects and cooperation between the states.

The next major climate forum, where a number of important anti-climate change decisions process to be adopted, i.e. the Climate Conference, will be held in November 2017 in Bonn.

Translated by Yuliya Derevyanko

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