Bonn Climate Summit Coasting Forward, but Acceleration Needed

Steady progress on implementation rules for the Paris Agreement, but more work to do

BONN | November 17, 2017

Over the past two weeks, leaders and representatives from around the world came together to build on the promise of the Paris Agreement. 

Andrew Deutz, director of international government relations for The Nature Conservancy, issued the following statement:

“The conference gets a grade of “meets expectations.”  The negotiators got down to the orderly business of working out the rules to implement, assess, and advance the Paris Agreement.  The processes did not get overly distracted by the U.S. government’s announced withdrawal from the accord.  In fact, Chancellor Merkel and President Macron celebrated the energy generated by the leadership of U.S. governors and mayors.  Nevertheless, the absence of national U.S. leadership was evident within the negotiating process this week and for driving more ambitious climate action in the future. 

“Two years after adopting the Paris Agreement, the global climate policy process is on cruise-control in the race toward a low-carbon, resilient future.  We are still headed in the right direction, but since the U.S. took its foot off the accelerator, the risk of global climate action slowing down has increased. the pace of increasing ambitions has slowed down.  It’s time for someone to jump in the driver’s seat and floor it. 

“Outside of the formal negotiations, the climate conference is also the world’s biggest trade fair of innovation and inspiration on climate action, and there were clear signs of commitments: 

  • “Every country needs to increase its climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.  New science shows that nature can provide up to 37 percent of the emissions reductions necessary to stay on track for the Paris Agreement goals by 2030.  Organizations including The Nature Conservancy worked to highlight the opportunities that forests, farms, and wetlands can play to help countries meet their existing climate commitments and accelerate those efforts in the future. 
  • “Financial innovation remains key to driving climate action and investment.  The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the insurance industry to use ecosystems science to improve risk management and develop new insurance products.  We welcome the InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions, which will bring together the world’s richest and its most vulnerable nations to provide insurance solutions for poor and vulnerable people exposed to the impacts of climate change.  We also look forward to the climate finance summit that French President Emmanuel Macron is convening in December to generate new finance and financial tools to further accelerate climate action. 
  • “Climate leadership now comes in diverse forms.  COP 23 saw strong representation from growing state and municipal voices in the U.S., led by the U.S. Climate Alliance. Governors and mayors from across the U.S. highlighted the commitments and progress made in 14 states and hundreds of cities to advance their contributions to the goals set by the U.S. in the Paris Agreement.  Currently, those jurisdictions will reach approximately 36 percent of the original American commitment.  We look forward to the Climate Action Summit to be convened by Governor Brown of California in 2018 to augment and accelerate action.

“In the two years since Paris, governments, companies, and communities around the world have stepped up to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the risks they face from climate change.  Taking climate action presents huge opportunities for innovation in all facets of human life – in how the world produces and uses energy, designs buildings and cities, and conserves and uses lands and coastlines.  Every day, new thinking and science is emerging to contribute to safer communities, stronger economies, and healthier lands and waters.  

“2017 has shown us in a myriad of places that the negative impacts of climate change are upon us. We are in the race towards a low-carbon, prosperous and healthy future, being chased by a poorer and less secure one. It’s time to accelerate."  

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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