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In Bonn, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Underscores Growing Momentum of Global Climate Action

6 June 2011: The UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn opened on 6 June 2011, and is scheduled to conclude on 17 June 2011. The conference will include the 34th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). It also comprises the second part of the 16th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the second part of the 14th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).

The SBI is expected to continue consideration of issues, such as national communications, the financial mechanism, least developed countries (LDCs), capacity building and technology. Following the Cancun Agreements, the SBI's provisional agenda (FCCC/SBI/2011/1) also includes proposed new items on: work programmes relating to reporting by Annex I and non-Annex I countries; adaptation; and response measures. The SBSTA is expected to continue addressing issues, including: the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation; methodological issues; technology; and research and systematic observation. Its provisional agenda (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/1) also contains proposed new items, including the work programme on agriculture, and impacts of climate change on water and water resource management. Under the agenda item on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), the SBSTA is also expected to initiate a new work programme on issues identified in Decision 1/CP.16, which is part of the Cancun Agreements.

Having reached agreement on its agenda (FCCC/AWGLCA/20011/5) in April, the resumed AWG-LCA 14 is expected to address substantive issues for the first time since the adoption of the Cancun Agreements last December. The resumed AWG-KP 16 is expected to, inter alia, continue discussions on overarching policy issues in a contact group established in Bangkok.

Opening the conference, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres underlined that "Governments lit a beacon in Cancun towards a low-emission world which is resilient to climate change." She recalled their committment to limit temperature increase to 2ºC, with further consideration of a 1.5ºC maximum. Figueres then stressed the need for all efforts to be "mobilized towards living up to this commitment." She underscored the growing momentum of global climate action, which governments need to capitalize on. [IISD RS Coverage of the Conference] [UNFCCC Press Release]