Press Update:

BONN, Germany – Climate negotiators ended almost two weeks of discussions in Bonn today, having made solid, if slow, progress in developing rules and tools that will guide implementation of the global climate deal adopted in Paris last year.

Mark Lutes, WWF’s Head of Delegation to the Bonn meeting, said while governments appear committed to making the Paris Agreement operational as soon as possible, the urgency that drove the negotiations in Paris was definitely missing in Bonn.

“News that the world had experienced seven straight months of record-breaking global heat, including reports of an extreme heat-wave in India, underscored the need for urgent action. But it did not affect the rather methodical and almost complacent pace and tone of the proceedings,” said Lutes.

“Governments need to step back from the exclusive focus on technical matters, and also focus on paving the way for transformative and accelerated action to put the world on a path to emissions-free development and a transition to 100 per cent renewables,” he said.

These sentiments were echoed by Josefina Braña-Varela, Senior Director of Forest and Climate, who underscored the importance of integrating forests, land, and REDD+ into the architecture of the new climate regime. “While Parties continue to work on operationalizing the Paris Agreement, we must not forget the urgency of ambitious climate action, especially in the forest and land sector.”

Lutes remarked that the incoming UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinoza, will have her hands full ensuring that urgency was brought back to the discussions.

Lutes said WWF was expecting countries to make specific progress by the time they gather again in Marrakech, Morocco in November. The climate meeting in Marrakech presents a great opportunity to highlight the opportunities and need for urgently scaling up renewable energy.