Bonn, Germany. From 8 May onwards, representatives from around 200 governments, together with businesses and civil society, meet in Bonn, Germany, to prepare the next big UN climate summit (COP23) to be held at the same place in November 2017 under the presidency of Fiji. The climate talks resume against the background of highly concerning climate-driven impacts, such as the recent El Nino and record global temperatures. At the same time, the future role of the U.S. in the climate debate is in question. “The uncertainty of the U.S. and its future engagement continues to be a concern to all who endorse the Paris Agreement and its promise to deliver action to vulnerable populations”, says CARE.

“Disastrous climate change impacts continue to unfold and cause loss and damage. Severe droughts in Eastern and Southern Africa keep millions of people, many of them vulnerable women and girls, in a state of permanent hunger. This is a grave injustice as the poor have contributed little to the causes of climate change.”

Vitu Chinoko, CARE International Southern Africa

Positively, countries and communities are not waiting to act. They realize that without tackling climate change impacts, poverty eradication and food security will be impossible to achieve. Almost 150 countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement and committed to climate action.

“The huge support for the Paris Agreement on climate change and progressive climate actions worldwide are proof of commitment and give us hope. Governments must show they stand together and that the interests of high polluters cannot come before the wellbeing of the world’s population, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, CARE International

In the preparations for COP23, countries will discuss how to advance the details of the rulebook of the Paris Agreement due to be finalized by 2018. These rules must set out clear guidelines for action and support respecting human rights and the principles of Paris Agreement. Countries will also consider preparing procedures for collectively ramping up ambition, through an UN-level specific Facilitative Dialogue next year and periodic reviews (so-called “Global Stocktakes”) to take place every five years. These must aim to close the gap between the emission cuts that are necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and the current, insufficient, promises from richer countries. CARE also expects delegates to advance cooperation on the global goal on adaptation, and climate-resilient, gender-responsive measures in agriculture.

“To limit human suffering, rich countries must urgently reduce emissions and scale-up financial support for the poor to adapt to climate change impacts, which under current plans is only about 20% compared to larger investments for emission cuts. They also must not shy away from addressing unavoidable loss and damage which vulnerable countries, like Fiji, continue to face,” said Harmeling