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STATEMENT: Slow Progress at Bonn Climate Talks at Odds with Urgency of the Climate Crisis

BONN, GERMANY (June 27, 2019) - As the UN climate negotiations wrapped up in Bonn, Germany, following is a statement from David Waskow, Director International Climate Action, World Resources Institute:

“Vulnerable nations stood up against attacks on the landmark UN climate scientific report on limiting warming to 1.5 Celsius, but the concerted efforts by a small group of countries ultimately blocked it from further discussion at the negotiations. These attacks were deliberate attempts to undermine global efforts to confront the climate crisis by ratcheting up national commitments under the Paris Agreement. Delaying climate action would make building resilience more challenging and expensive, further escalating the challenges stemming from climate impacts so severe that communities cannot possibly adapt to them.

“With the window to address the climate emergency closing, world leaders – especially the largest emitters -- have no time for such dangerous distractions. The UN Climate Action Summit this September is a critical opportunity for prime ministers and presidents to step up their game. To show real climate leadership at this Summit, world leaders should announce that their country will align their next national climate commitments in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 Celsius.

“The most encouraging news this week came outside of the formal negotiations. Investors managing nearly half of the world’s invested capital demanding that major economies take urgent action on climate change. The United Kingdom become the first G7 country to pass a net-zero emissions law. And nearly 30 developing countries publicly stated that they will improve their national climate commitments next year. Now other developed countries and major emerging economies must follow their lead.

“Of course, while developing countries are willing to be more ambitious, they require financial resources to do so. The world is watching to see whether countries will follow the lead of Germany and Norway by at least doubling their contributions to the Green Climate Fund.

“The dispute over the IPCC report also reminds us of the fundamental reason that countries convened in Bonn these last two weeks: to maintain and strengthen the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement and deal with the severe impacts of climate change already underway. Negotiators in Bonn failed to make substantial progress on the rules for carbon markets expected to preserve environmental integrity, postponing the challenging task to the UN negotiations at COP25 in Chile in December. It is essential that the rules make clear that multiple countries claiming credit for the same emission reductions would be completely unacceptable. Cooking the books won’t save the climate.”

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