Bonn SB60 negotiations update: what’s at stake for nature

Posted by NATURE4CLIMATE
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Rhiannon Niven, representing the Nature4Climate coalition at the high-level event uniting the three Rio Conventions held in Bonn (Photo: HLCC/Kiara Worth)

As the first major gathering after the Global Stocktake and with big challenges on the journey to both COP 29 in Azerbaijan and COP 30 in Brazil, the interconnectedness of the nature-climate nexus is ever more pressing. Key topics for nature include Article 6, adaptation strategies such as National Adaptation Plans (NAP), the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), advancements in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) known as NDC 3.0, climate finance negotiations focusing on a new collective quantified goal and the quantum involved, delivery of the outcomes of the Global Stocktake and a comprehensive examination of food systems.

Here are our top insights from week one at Bonn:

Article 6

As countries failed to reach a consensus on decisions concerning Articles 6.2 and 6.4 during COP 28, the week started revisiting key topics of disagreement. While Article 6.2, which is already operational, the lack of progress at COP28 may not significantly impact its implementation, failure to adopt decisions has a much greater impact on Article 6.4, which remains stalled until new frameworks are (hopefully) agreed on at COP29. Nature-specific issues addressed for the most part the relationship between REDD+ and Article 6.4, with Brazil advocating for linkage; the eligibility of “emission avoidance” under Articles 6.2 and 6.4; and the development of specific guidance on removals, which could significantly impact nature-based activities under Article 6.4. Formal negotiations on these topics will continue in the next Supervisory Body meeting after Bonn.

 Beatriz Granziera, Senior Policy Advisor for The Nature Conservancy, said: “In general, the discussions have been more constructive than what we saw at COP29, with more flexibility from parties on getting to a compromise. We have been hearing from negotiators that an outcome on Article 6 at COP29 has reached higher political levels and has become a priority for Heads of Delegation (HoD) and even at the Minister level. We see that as a good thing, and it will push technical negotiators to move forward”. 

Food systems

Eighteen months after its establishment at COP27, the Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work on Agriculture and Food Security (SSJWA) showed significant progress by agreeing on a roadmap leading up to COP31. Key expected outcomes for COPs include the integration of healthy, resilient, and equitable food systems into national climate plans, increased financial support for food systems transformation, particularly for agroecology and small-scale food producers in the Global South, and maintaining food systems, agriculture, and food security as high priorities for future COPs. This will be facilitated by an annual synthesis report, an online portal for COP29, and two workshops in 2025 and 2026. Additionally, over 155 signatory Parties will be delivering the Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems Systems and Climate Action launched at COP28.  

Clement Metivier, Acting Head of International Advocacy at WWF-UK, said: “Looking forward, it will be key for the SSJWA to support the integration of a food systems approach to climate action in the UNFCCC, starting at COP29, and provide clear signals and recommendations to (1) better integrate healthy, resilient, and equitable food systems in national climate plans (such as NDCs, NAPs and NBSAPs), (2) ensure that more finance flows towards food systems transformation, with a focus on supporting agroecology and small-scale food producers in the Global South, (3) ensure that food systems, agriculture, and food security remain high on the agenda for the next COPs”.  

Climate finance

One of the most pressing topics for decision throughout the week revolves around the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance  (NCQG). By June 11, the initial 60-page long document was reduced to 35 pages, but parties still felt it was imbalanced and included elements outside the NCQG mandate. Developing countries noted their key concerns were not adequately reflected. Commonalities were found on access, transparency, the critical decade, debt sustainability, and the rejection of corruption, but significant contention remained on principles, access, transparency, and contributor and recipient bases. The session concluded with a call for a clear change in process and better engagement. The chairs will prepare a summary and guiding questions for the next meeting in October in Baku, aiming to bridge ideas and move forward.

Ximena Apestegui, Policy Advisor at The Nature Conservancy, said: “The main frustration, disappointment, and concern expressed by Parties had to do with the text’s lack of reference to timeframes and the quantum, indicating that ‘the quantum is the core of NCQG and only once we have this understanding can we start to engage’ and that ‘lack of convergence shouldn’t be a reason for not including it.’ While developing countries have suggested different options (e.g. between 1.1 and 1.4 trillion dollars per year), developed countries have yet to provide proposals for a quantum, aside from the US suggestion for it to be ‘from a floor of 100 billion,’ which developing countries argued is not a quantum.”

The COP Troika: from Baku to Belém

With an intense 16 months ahead of COP30, coordinated work and alignment across the Rio Conventions is proving a crucial matter of discussion aiming to bridge gaps in climate-biodiversity action. Following the Joint Statement on Climate, Nature, and People, established at COP28 in Dubai, the three COP Presidencies – Azerbaijan, Cote d’Ivoire, Colombia and Brazil, met with non-state actors to further commit to addressing gaps and challenges to increase ambition and action around the climate, biodiversity and rights intersection and synergies. A high-level Rio convention synergies event took place, with 6 Presidencies and critical IGOs, NGOs, and civil society representatives sharing their vision.

The gathering highlighted the urgent need for systemic transformation, including developing a rights-based approach to ecosystem protection, advancing Rio Conventions targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.  

Rhiannon Niven, Senior Policy Manager at Birdlife, said: “We are standing together for action. I challenge those here to increase our efforts, work to solve complex problems, and move to implement the changes necessary. It is a triple COP year, let’s triple the efforts”.

Bonn also held the first meeting of the new Climate-Nature Coordination Platform, uniting the Presidencies for UNFCCC, CBD and UNCCD, designed to operationalise the joint statement goals. Non-state actors organisations, such as the High-level Climate Champions, the NDC Partnership and the Nature4Climate Coalition are also part of the effort.

Irene Suárez Pérez, Senior Strategic Advisor to Restor, said: “The lead up to COP30 will be crucial to make the most of the synergies between national climate plans, national biodiversity strategies and land targets for the delivery of a nature positive-net zero, resilient future and for equitable development. Science-based and open-data geospatial platforms available today such as Restor and Naturebase can support Parties, Indigenous peoples, local communities, farmers and other non-state actors on this journey.

Stay tuned for further updates as the SB60 climate talks continue to unfold in Bonn.