Bonn climate negotiations ended with many fundamental disagreements between developed and developing nations. (Photo: EPA)
“The only way we’re going to see progress is with a strong grassroots movement that can take on the power of the fossil fuel industry,” said Jamie Henn of 350.org
The final round of preliminary climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany came to a close Friday without much consensus on some of the most pressing issues, including cementing wealthy nations’ financial commitments to guarantee assistance for developing nations grappling with the impacts of global warming.
The talks in Bonn represented the last chance for United Nations (UN) member states to settle on a draft climate treaty ahead of the upcoming COP21 talks in Paris, where leaders will finalize a global agreement on curbing global warming.
Without substantial progress, climate advocacy groups said Friday, frontline communities around the globe face imminent threats.
“The deplorable inaction at the climate negotiations is a calamity for people across the world,” said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International’s climate justice and energy coordinator. “We are facing a planetary emergency with floods, storms, droughts and rising seas causing devastation. The risk of irreversible climate change draws ever closer, and hundreds of thousands of people have already paid with their lives.”
As the talks concluded, delegates expressed ongoing concerns that wealthy nations were still attempting to foist their aid obligations onto independent financiers like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which the Group of 77 (G77) plus China coalition of developing nations said was an underhanded attempt to evade financial responsibilities at any cost—even if it meant derailing the entire treaty process.
Mattias Söderberg, chair of the ACT Alliance climate change advisory group, told Deutsche Welle the pace of the talks was frustrating and disappointing.
“From our perspective, where we work with those who are affected by climate change, the progress is far from enough,” Söderberg said. “Parties need to leave their comfort zones, to look for common understanding. Now they stay in their corners, sticking to old positions.”
Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, added, “We need a fair agreement, a fair process and fair shares of climate action. What we have on the negotiation table now is increased effort by more than 140 developing countries but it won’t avoid catastrophic climate change unless rich countries have a dramatic change of heart. We need rich countries to urgently commit to do their fair share.”