Bonn Talks: Civil society reiterate call for urgent climate action

Members of civil society hold a demonstration to stress the importance of human rights and the role of civil society in the fight against climate change.
Members of civil society hold a demonstration to stress the importance of human rights and the role of civil society in the fight against climate change. (PHOTO: ENB/IISD)


As the Bonn climate talks close tomorrow, civil society and non-party stakeholder groups have reiterated their call for urgent climate action.

The groups demand that governments follow-up the Paris Agreement with increased urgent action to prevent average global warming from rising 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

At an action event at the Bonn climate change talks in advance of the closing session of the Talanoa Dialogue, groups highlighted that Parties must reinforce the Paris Agreement goal and commit to enhanced action as a matter of survival for vulnerable countries.

“Perception on climate change has changed over the years,” said Olivia Adhiambo, Policy and Advocacy Manager at the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance. “Though we may differ on what action to take, the consensus across the world is that the climate has changed, and that someone somewhere has caused the problem. Climate change is no longer an isolated scientific and environmental issue, it has dimensions in all human development indicators.”

Adhiambo says PACJA believes that climate change is a poverty issue because it has exacerbated poverty in the world; an equity issue because it disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable countries and sectors of the society, and a justice issue because it was caused by rich people and the poor are mostly affected. For the last nine days, delegates have been negotiating the various technical issues under the UNFCCC technical and implementation bodies, the Subsidiary Body for implementaion (SBI), and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

Key among the issues discussed include climate finance, a key enabler to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, importance of Agriculture to developing country parties in terms of adaptation, the finalization of the Paris Rule book for implementation, and increasing climate ambition through the Talanoa dialoge regarding emission cuts.
This is in view of the fact that the current collective pledges made under the Paris Agreement, are not enough to meet the target of limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5 oC.

In fact, according to the analysis, even a full implementation of current unconditional and conditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) makes a temperature increase of at least 3oC by 2100 very likely.

“In a world that is already warmer by about 1ºC, people and communities around the world are already facing serious threats to their human rights,” said Sebastien Duyck, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law, during a climate action event organsied by both the north and south civil society groups.  In line with a human rigts approach, Duyck said the survival of the most exposed to the impacts of climate-related natural disasters is already at risk while the growing temperature undermines the rights to food, water and livelihood of millions.


“These human rights impacts will only grow in magnitude with the increase of temperatures – undermining the ability of the most vulnerable States to protect their own people. Keeping the increase of temperatures below 1.5ºC is a necessity to protect human rights,” he added. The gender face of climate change impacts is not a debatable issue anymore.

There is consensus that women are at the frontline of climate change impacts, and Luu Thi Thu Giang, Climate Change Specialist, CARE International, was categorical about this matter.

“Today climate change impacts already hit many poor people in developing countries, like in my own country Vietnam,” she said. “Climate change impacts women and men differently. Often, it is poor and marginalized women and girls who are most affected.

However, they are essential agents of change to build resilience against climate change impacts and to achieve the rapid shift to renewable energies necessary for limiting climate disruption to 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. Gender equality and climate action must go hand in hand.”

According to available climate science data, the impacts of climate change are already being felt, especially in developing countries. One way in which this is happening is through destruction to sensitive ecosystems that support millions of people’s livelihoods.

And Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Advisor for Global Climate Adaptation Policy, at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) believes the best way to protect against the already suffering millions of people, is to keep global temperature rise as low as possible.

“As the earth’s temperature rises, so does the threat of permanent loss of ecologically sensitive places and species,” he said. “Biodiversity loss at the scale we could be seeing over the coming decades will cause profound changes to the sensitive ecosystems that sustain the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, mainly in vulnerable countries. The best way to protect against this is to keep global temperature rise as low as possible.”

Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the sustainability of urban cities has emerged as an important aspect of the climate discussions considering the role cities play in environmental management and protection. Therefore, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)’s Local Governments for Sustainability is leading the agenda for sustainable cities.

The aim is to help the ICLEI Network of up 1,500 councils to become sustainable, low-carbon, resilient, eco-mobile, bio-diverse, resource-efficient and productive, through green economic and smart infrastructure, impacting over 25% of the global urban population.

And Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI said: “Failure to meet the 1.5-degree goal will hurt inhabitants in all human settlements, from poles to islands and from coastal zones to dry lands, in particular the urban poor. Climate neutrality is the backbone of the success of Paris Agreement, and it cannot be achieved without climate neutral cities and regions.”  

In its efforts to promote sustainable cities, through the Talanoa Dialogues in more than 50 cities and regions, ICLEI is working with local, regional and national governments to seize the opportunity of the Urban World to turn the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal into a reality.

It is without question that the vulnerable people are at the centre of climate talks, mainly because they are suffering for something that they have not caused. And Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid believes that keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees for the world’s most vulnerable people is not just a ‘nice to have’, but rather essential to ensure they maintain and improve their way of life

“The world warms at different rates and in Africa where I am from, a global average rise of 2 degrees equates to much more extreme temperatures,” he said. “For low-lying island states, a 2-degree rise will mean being wiped from the map as sea level rise threatens to wash them away.   If rich countries are to be believed when it talks about solidarity with the poor then they need make sure we’re on track for a world that these people can live in.”

The message from civil society groups is loud and clear—urgent and ambitious climate action to keep the planet safe. However, while the clear picture of what has been achieve at the Bonn talks is yet to be established, UNFCCC Executive Secretary indicated a positive outlook during a media round table on Monday.

“The reports I am getting so far, are positive, including on the Talanoa Dialogue,” Espinosa said. “As you know the discussions about how to capture and derive from the Talanoa dialogue, general conclusions, is only starting now, it’s only a new process, it’s the first phase which happened yesterday, and delegations are starting now to think about what they would like to see as the outcome of the dialogue.”


  1. Quotation, conclusion: “Bonn talks: civil society reiterates the need for urgent action”.
    I will not comment on this completely incomprehensible conclusion of the Bonn meeting. But about the same conclusions “not to raise the temperature of the planet have sounded since 2009 – from the ecological summit in Copenhagen. This fact shows that the UN and government representatives have no real programs, except for one-time ones – the release of aerosols into the atmosphere. Well, they will close the sun – and lower the temperature. All the rest will remain: the polluted atmosphere, the soil of the water and the ocean – and everything will grow the same as it grew. Therefore, I give you two threats that can both together and single-handedly destroy all life on Earth. You can not count on bunkers. Nature will eliminate all types of pollution up to 1000-1200 years, and in bunkers you can live a maximum of a year.
    These are the two threats. Quotation: “Tap water can not be drunk in any country in the world. These are the results of a study by scientists from the University of Minnesota, who analyzed 159 samples of tap water taken around the world. Samples of tap water from more than 12 countries of the world were investigated by journalists of Orb Media, who conducted their own investigation. 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic particles. The highest level of water pollution was detected in the USA – 94%. Plastic was also found in samples taken at the Congress building, the headquarters of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Trump Tower in New York. On the second and third place – Lebanon and India, which are polluted by 93.8% and 82.4% of the samples, respectively. European countries, including Great Britain, Germany and France, have the “lowest” level of pollution (72%). ” Solution: Drinking water must be re-made – at the molecular level in a sealed environment.
    Another quote: “WHO representatives issued a warning by submitting new data to the UN Climate Change Conference in 2018 in Bonn, which shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants and that about 7 million people die each year from effects of small particles in polluted air “. And the air must also be made anew – by growing two trillion tree seedlings.
    Sincerely, developer of environmental programs, Victor Rodin. Ukraine. Khmelnitsky NPP. Tel. Kiev Star: 961336344. Mail:
    — — —
    Цитата, заключение: «Боннские переговоры: гражданское общество вновь заявляет о необходимости срочного действия».
    Я не буду комментировать это совершенно непонятное заключение Боннской встречи. Но примерно такие же заключения «не повышать температуру планеты звучат с 2009 года – с экологического саммита в Копенгагене. Этот факт говорит о том, что у ООН, и у представителей правительств нет никаких реальных программ, кроме разовых – выброс в атмосферу аэрозолей. Ну, закроют они солнце – и понизят температуру. Всё остальное останется: загрязнённая атмосфера, почвы воды и океан – и всё будет расти так же, как и росло. Поэтому, я даю вам две угрозы, которые могут и вместе и по одиночке уничтожить на Земле всё живое. На бункеры можете не рассчитывать. Природа будет ликвидировать все виды загрязнений до 1000-1200 лет, а в бункерах можно прожить максимум год.
    Вот эти две угрозы. Цитата: «Водопроводную воду нельзя пить ни в одной стране мира. Таковы результаты исследования ученых из Университета Миннесоты, которые проанализировали 159 образцов водопроводной воды, взятые по всему миру. Образцы водопроводной воды более чем из 12 стран мира были исследованы журналистами Orb Media, которые провели собственное расследование. 83% проб оказались загрязнены частицами пластика. Самый высокий уровень загрязнения воды выявлен в США – 94%. Пластик также был обнаружен в образцах, взятых в здании Конгресса, штаб-квартире американского Агентства по охране окружающей среды и в небоскрёбе Трамп-тауэр в Нью-Йорке. На втором и третьем месте – Ливан и Индия, которые загрязнены на 93,8% и 82,4% проб, соответственно. У европейских стран, включая Великобританию, Германию и Францию, — самый «низкий» уровень загрязнения (72%)». Решение: Питьевую воду нужно производить заново – на молекулярном уровне в герметичной среде.
    Ещё цитата: «Представители ВОЗ выразили предупреждение, представив новые данные на Конференции ООН по изменению климата в 2018 году в Бонне, которая показывает, что 9 из 10 человек дышат воздухом, содержащим высокий уровень загрязняющих веществ, и что около 7 миллионов человек ежегодно умирают от воздействия мелких частиц в загрязненном воздухе». И воздух нужно так же производить заново – за счёт выращивания двух триллионов саженцев деревьев.


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