Interconnections Zone During Cop23
Bonn, 06.11.2017 until 17.11.2017
German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Parallel to COP 23, DIE hosted the Interconnections Zone from 6 to 17 November 2017. The Zone’s objective was to continue the dialogue of trade-offs and synergies between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which kicked off earlier this year at the Interconnections Conference. Conveniently located between the Bula and Bonn Zones, DIE offered a space for discussions, which was easily accessible to politicians, scientists, practitioners and members of the civil society.
In addition to DIE, 106 partner organisations made lively use of the opportunity to shape a total of 44 side events. The wide range of topics covered included “Loss and Damage”, the role and situation of small islands and their climate policy meaning, climate financing, the special situation of non-state and subnational actors as catalysts or gap fillers of national climate targets up to the energy revolution, energy transition, carbon pricing, climate justice, geoengineering, and the presentation of new science-based tools to measure and compare national climate strategies and their interfaces to the SDGs.
Around 1,700 guests visited the Interconnections Zone, including high-level delegation- and state representatives, such as the State Environment Minister Kare Chawicha Debessa from Ethiopia, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, the former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, as well as the German Head of Delegation, Karsten Sach.
With the organisation of the Interconnections Zone, the Klimalog team succeeded in making the climate negotiations accessible to a broader audience, encouraging dialogue between the multitudes of stakeholders involved, and emphasizing the direct link to the 2030 Agenda.
We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for the financial support of the Interconnections Zone, as well as the numerous partners for the organisation of exciting side events and the presence of high-level speakers.
Implementation of the NDCs and linkages with the SDGs
In numerous Interconnections Zone events, the relevance of non-state and subnational actors were intensively discussed to fostering encouraged climate policy and the interlocking of those with the national development strategies, in particular in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Recurring topics included the question of financing NDC implementation as well as the conflicting objectives and synergies within the 2030 Agenda. Within the scope of the COP23 and the Interconnections Zone, the DIE and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) presented a new initiative, NDC-SDG Connections, which investigates the interconnections of over 160 NDCs with the SDGs and their 169 sub-targets.
Loss & Damage
The drastic increase in both extreme weather and slow onset events worldwide made Loss and Damage one of the main topics of the Interconnections Zone, especially in the context of Fiji‘s COP23 Presidency. Delegates from island states such as Fiji, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, and Kiribati demanded faster and more ambitious mitigation, adaptation and financing measures to counteract the threat of extinction of their countries. According to Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati, a climate strategy without a serious plan for phasing out coal can no longer find acceptance or be taken sincerely. To that regard, Canada and the United Kingdom announced a coalition aiming to phase out coal and were followed by 19 states. Despite the installation of an expert dialogue for questions about Loss & Damage, many questions remain unanswered after COP23.
Agriculture is both severely affected by and contributing to climate change and was also one of the main topics of the Interconnections Zone. Accordingly, 90% of the NDCs already include actions in the agricultural field. During COP23, parties agreed to put forth working documents by the end of March regarding the following topics: methods for evaluating adjustments to measures of potential side effects and resilience; improved soil carbon, soil health and soil fertility and water management; improved nutrient and manure management and livestock management systems; and on socio-economic and food security dimensions of climate change in the agricultural sector. Those statements will serve as a basis for future negotiations and climate strategies.
COP23: not great, but good enough
Bauer, Steffen (2017)
The Current Column, 23 November 2017
2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement: best chieved together!