The 60th sessions of the United Nations Climate Convention’s subsidiary bodies taking place in Bonn (Germany, 3 to 13 June 2024) should set the path to adequately valorize the outcomes of COP28, including the first Global Stocktake, so that countries can develop a shared understanding of a ‘good nationally determined contribution (NDC)’. It is their opportunity to test their leadership as NDC early movers. Bonn is also a critical milestone in the run-up to COP29, as it provides a negotiating space for building confidence that the post-2025 finance goal will be successfully agreed by the end of the year. And participants will have several opportunities to show their commitment to meeting the scale and speed required to enhance action and international cooperation. The Bonn negotiation track is also scheduled to accelerate the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund.

The Bonn negotiation session, referred to as SB60, is a critical opportunity for the COP “Troika” (United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan and Brazil) to jointly work with countries’ delegations to seed ideas for an ambitious COP29 package, advancing key issues and aligning expectations. This session will draw attention to many as a test of the continuity and potential that this Troika holds as an innovation derived from COP28–now under Azerbaijan Presidency–in its endeavor to draw a round-the-clock roadmap to Belém at COP30. Three main acronyms will be at the negotiating table of the World Conference Center Bonn: NCQG, NDCs and L+D. These refer to the new finance goal, new countries’ ambition commitments, and arrangements for loading and accessing Loss and Damage fund.

Sealing a new finance goal (NCQG)

A ‘New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG)’, starting from 2025, should be agreed on to go beyond current goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year. Also known as the post-2025 climate finance goal, it is expected to be the centre of the discussions in Bonn as a final decision is due by COP29 and the OECD just released its Climate Finance annual report indicating that $115 billion were provided and mobilized in 2022. It is the first time this annual quantum is met, two years later than agreed, and the details show several encouraging signals (increase in public finance, even larger increase in private finance, change in trends in adaptation finance) and openings for further improving finance as an enabler for Paris-aligned transformations, for instance, in relation to geographical and sectorial distribution and diversity of supply sources. With nine Technical Expert Dialogues on NCQG under negotiators’ belts, several divergences still remain across countries, including the basics of quantum, contributor base, access (targets and modalities) and timeline for revising the established goal. Whereas the details matter a great deal to all, the essence of a successful agreement lies with the capacity to build the necessary confidence that finance will flow to developing countries to drive new fossil-free, climate-resilient, biodiversity-supportive development models that are aligned with the 1.5°C limit. This endeavor is not a NCQG-exclusive task, though. It must come from a full package containing alignment of finance flows with the Paris Agreement, enhanced international cooperation to remove barriers faced by developing countries to implement their ambitions, along with credible transition plans that tackle main transformations and investments required. The challenge is in building these packages without holding ambition relative to the discussion of its single parts. 

Time to get down to NDC business

The implementation of the Paris Agreement requires a focus on the development of new NDCs in 2024 and early 2025, as a critical instrument to anchor the Global Stock take (GST) outcome and set foundations for action in this decisive decade. The development of NDCs is taking place in complex national and geopolitical contexts. Bonn therefore provides a timely opportunity to drive momentum and raise expectations,notably to consolidate and promote an interpretation of the GST outcome that puts the world on a 1.5°C path. This interpretation should surpass mere top-down analysis delivery, to actively involve policymakers and foster trust among Parties. It should build shared understanding around the implications of the agreements reached at COP28 and how these now translate into national-level action to ensure their implementation. This approach is crucial to ensure the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and it requires work both on NDC development and on enhancement of international cooperation. As a pivotal objective, SB60 will be discussing this translation of the GST into NDCs. This will take various forms, including workshops to share knowledge and good practices for the preparation and implementation of NDCs, special events, and a great deal of discussion generated by the non-Parties-led side events and corridor talks. The Annual Global Stocktake Dialogue (6-7 June) will also contribute to this agenda, in addition to provide perspectives on the lessons from the first GST and identify areas to strengthen the process for GST2. 

There are other UNFCCC processes in place to guide countries on how to follow up and deliver on the outcome of the first GST and other COP28 decisions across adaptation, loss and damage, mitigation, finance and just transition. The Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) Global Dialogue held an event on structural barriers to investment in mitigation at the very beginning of the intra-group coordination week (27-29 May) . On adaptation, SB60 should reach an agreement on the modalities of the UAE-Belém Work Programme on indicators for measuring progress towards adaptation targets. The Just Transition Work Programme (JTWP) will kick start its actual work by agreeing on activities to be done before COP29 to support the incorporation of Just Transitions into NDCs, NAPs (National Adaptation Plans) and LT-LEDs (Long-Term Strategies). COP Presidencies' Troika’s initiative “Roadmap to Mission 1.5°C”1 mandated at COP28 for completion by COP30, is expected to be one of the main processes in which to discuss NDC development and international cooperation in the lead up to COP30. Presumably, Bonn will create the space for shaping its design–even if largely informally, outside the official negotiation track. Last, UNFCCC Secretariat and Non-State actors will present new NDC guidance, including a navigation platform jointly developed with the NDC Partnership to centralize tools, practices, and communities available to support NDC development in line with Paris Agreement goals. In this context, a guide on how to align NDC and LT-LEDS with 1.5°C goals developed by IDDRI-hosted DDP Network in collaboration with the 2050 Pathways Platform will be launched.

Speeding up on loss and damages

Following the first meeting of the L&D Fund Board, Bonn will host on 6-7 June the third (and last) 'Glasgow Dialogue' on financial arrangements where operationalization of L&D Fund is further negotiated. The Fund Board meeting was mainly about setting up and a decision to fast-tracking the selection of the Fund host nation was reached, a necessary step to set a stronger legal basis. Candidate host countries are Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, and the Philippines, with decision due in July. During the Fund Board meeting, the World Bank sought to reassure that it could be a good host (administrator) for the new fund. Meanwhile, several Parties and experts remain reluctant regarding the Bank's lack of experience with 'direct access' for vulnerable recipients. The Bonn talks are expected to address these concerns, as well as how to meet growing demand for support to help vulnerable countries and communities recover from the unavoidable effects of climate change.