Bonn, Germany... The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA), Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh is leading the Government of Liberia’s delegation to the 58th session of the Subsidiary Body for the Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI58) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany.
Prof. Tarpeh is being ably assisted by Mr. Jefferson F. Nyadibo, the focal point for UNFCCC and manager for Multilateral Environmental Agreements at the EPA, as Deputy Head of the Liberian Government’s Delegation.
The Bonn Climate Change Conference commenced Monday, 5 June 2023. The pre-sessional meeting took place from 30 May to 4 June 2023.
The gathering at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany has attracted hundreds of people including local communities and indigenous people from around the world.
However, the turnout this year is disappointing as hundreds of delegates from around the world were denied visas to travel for the conference.
The low turnout sparked a series of protests at the hall.
Protesters claimed hundreds of people registered for the conference were not provided visas, while countries were made to slice the numbers of their delegates.
The Bonn Climate Change Conference will build on the mandates that emerged from COP 27 in Egypt last year.
It is hosting a large number of mandated events and continuing discussions on issues of critical importance, such as global stocktaking, global goal on adaptation, just transition, loss and damage, and the mitigation work program.
It is also expected to make progress on these and other important issues and prepare draft decisions for adoption at COP 28 in the UAE in December 2023.
Speaking at the opening plenary of the Bonn Climate Change Conference, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell said that the latest reports of the World Maritime Organization (WMO) and the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) make it clear that climate change is accelerating.
According to him, “the world is lagging in its actions to stem climate change”.
“I’m aware of the difficulty you face, wearing two hats at these sessions. There is sometimes tension between national interest and the global common good,” Executive Secretary Stiell said.
He urged delegates to be brave, act accordingly, and prioritize the common good for national interests.
He asked delegates to keep in mind a premise which states that no life is expendable, during their deliberations.
“Not expendable because national budgets are already constrained elsewhere. Not expendable because we want to consume ever more energy than our needs. Not expendable because fossil fuel extraction is a financial and political insurance policy. Not expendable because nature is easily commoditized,” he emphasized.
Mr. Stiell also said, “We have a clear ambition to pursue limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and deliver a resilient sustainable future for all”.
He further noted that “we must make progress against all areas because this will set the frame for COP28.”
According to him, the Global Stocktake is our opportunity to review where we are and get a view of where we need to get to, to meet our Paris Commitments.
“Ambition is nothing without action,” Mr. Stiell added.
Executive Secretary Stiell said: Let us come out of these discussions with clear signs from the Technical Expert Dialogue and the 9.5 workshops.
Touching on ‘Loss and Damage’, Mr. Stiell informed the plenary that the agreement in Sharm El Sheik was the first step and indicated “the Transitional Committee’s second meeting has pushed us forward but there is still some way to go”.
He disclosed that the ‘Mitigation Work Program and Global Dialogue’ have been launched over the weekend.
“Every discussion on mitigation unlocks further innovation which we must use to revise and strengthen our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies,” Stiell said.
He noted that a strong agreement on a ‘Just Transition’ can be a powerful tool to enable ambitious climate action.
Mr. Stiell explained that it can build trust to drive transformational development.
“So, let us aim for a close-to-final draft text to take to COP,” he told delegates.
He explained that the Global Goal of Adaptation will identify where the world needs to get to be resilient.
The 58th session of the Subsidiary Body for the Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is expected to end on 15 June 2023.