COP Presidencies Summarize Talanoa Dialogue at Bonn Climate Change Conference
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The Talanoa Dialogue at the UN Climate Change Conference in May 2018 consisted of an opening session, “Talanoa sessions” involving in-depth consideration of the questions of the Talanoa Dialogue in small groups, a reporting back meeting and a closing session.

Building on the three questions of the Talanoa Dialogue, discussions were informed by inputs from Parties and non-Party stakeholders, and a set of documents prepared by the COP Presidencies.

The preparatory phase of the Talanoa Dialogue will continue until COP 24, and will inform the political phase of the Dialogue.

18 May 2018: The UNFCCC has published a summary of the Talanoa Dialogue held at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, from 30 April to 10 May 2018. In it, the current and the incoming Presidencies of the UN Climate Change Conference outline the procedural aspects of all related meetings and provide a general overview of the issues discussed.

The Dialogue, held during the 48th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SBs), consisted of an opening session, “Talanoa sessions” involving in-depth consideration of the questions of the Talanoa Dialogue in small groups, a reporting back meeting and a closing session. Parties and non-Party stakeholders discussed in “an informal, inclusive and positive setting” that ensured an “atmosphere of openness and mutual respect” the three questions of the Talanoa Dialogue: Where are we? Where do we want to go? and How do we get there? The document notes that the Dialogue, based on the Pacific concept of Talanoa, a process of storytelling for the common good, can help facilitate and accelerate collective climate action.

Discussions during the Bonn Climate Change Conference were informed by inputs from Parties and stakeholders, and a set of documents prepared by the Presidency of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC and the incoming COP 24 Presidency, namely: an outline of the Talanoa Dialogue process; a suggested approach to organizing the Talanoa Dialogue in the first half of 2018; guidance on understanding the questions of the Talanoa Dialogue; additional information on the Talanoa Dialogue activities to be held during the May sessions; and an overview of inputs to the Talanoa Dialogue.

During the opening session, Parties and non-Party stakeholders shared their expectations of the Talanoa Dialogue. A panel discussion addressed participants’ experiences on the three questions of the Dialogue, including in relation to: countries’ announcements of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets; full implementation of the current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) corresponding to the warming scenario of 3-3.2°C by the end of the century; slower than projected progress on key technologies relating to carbon capture and storage (CCS); and the potential of proven technologies, such as solar and wind energy, efficient appliances and efficient passenger cars, to reduce sectoral emissions by around twice the amount of the emissions gap projected for 2030.

A total of 207 Party and 98 non-Party representatives that took part in the Talanoa sessions shared about 474 contributions.

Seven Talanoa sessions met in parallel three times on Sunday, 6 May, to address each of the questions of the Talanoa Dialogue. Each Talanoa session started with a round of storytelling, followed by a short discussion and an overview of the key messages shared provided by the rapporteur. A total of 207 Party representatives from 162 Parties and 98 non-Party representatives took part in the Talanoa discussions, sharing about 474 contributions: 369 by Parties and 105 by non-Party stakeholders.

On the first question (Where are we?), participants shared stories describing vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, discussing the current status of GHG emissions and their concentration, providing examples of action taken to address climate change by different actors, and outlining challenges experienced in doing so. According to the Presidencies, these stories provide useful information to take stock of current Party efforts, including in relation to the pre-2020 period and the long-term objective of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The stories shared in the context of the second question (Where do we want to go?) described participants’ understanding of the goals of the Paris Agreement and a vision for the future, where all actors, including businesses, youth, gender groups and indigenous peoples, are committed to climate action and pursue an inclusive path of development.

The stories shared in the context of the third question (How do we get there?) included broad recommendations, and suggested concrete actions by different actors to take the world to a sustainable and prosperous future.

During the reporting back session, many Parties welcomed the format of the discussions, which created an atmosphere where participants could, “away from the politics of the negotiations,” engage in constructive discussions that inform and inspire.

At the closing session, Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji and COP 23 President, highlighted that the inclusion of non-Party stakeholders provides the opportunity to draw from a wider range of experiences through an inclusive exchange of ideas. Michal Kurtyka, Deputy Minister for Energy of Poland and COP 24 President Designate, stressed the need to begin preparations for the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue.

The preparatory phase of the Talanoa Dialogue will continue until COP 24, with Parties and non-Party stakeholders continuing to contribute through local, national, regional and global events, and analytical and policy-relevant inputs. The political phase of the Dialogue, which will take place at COP 24, will build on the preparatory phase. The outcome of the Dialogue is expected to capture the political momentum and help inform Parties’ preparation of their NDCs. [COP Presidencies’ Summary of the Talanoa Dialogue at May Sessions] [Talanoa Dialogue Platform]


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