Breaking down barriers in Bonn

By Climate Champions | June 17, 2024

The High-Level Champions and Marrakech Partnership demonstrate the power of whole-of-society collaboration at the Bonn Climate Change Conference.

During a packed programme of events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, the High-Level Champions for the COP28 and COP29 Presidencies Razan Al Mubarak and Nigar Arpadarai showcased how significant climate action is already underway across all sectors of the global economy to advance a just transition away from fossil fuels, accelerate the flow of equitable finance and restore and protect nature.

Joining the High-Level Champions and representatives of the Marrakech Partnership at their opening eventSetting the agenda from Dubai to Baku: mobilizing non-Party stakeholders for enhanced national climate plans”, Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary called on the gathering of private actors to “Be bold, and aim high” and underscored the importance of coming together to help break down silos within the climate process. 

He later added “Nobody can tackle the climate crisis alone. The COP28 & COP29 Presidency High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership are key to achieve bolder climate action by cities, regions, businesses, investors and civil society.”

Setting the tone for an action-oriented agenda, the High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership came together for a workshop on developing outcomes in alignment with the tools and frameworks of the 2030 Climate Solutions to support enhanced national climate action plans ( NDCs – Nationally Determined Contributions), build alignment and identify the joint roadmap towards COP29.

In addition, the High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership committed to continued collaboration around the  priorities of the Work Programme for 2024. This was published during the conference to enhance global climate action, strengthen collaboration between governments and non-Party stakeholders, and support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. 

To take stock of progress to date, the High-Level Champions  request feedback from national governments and all stakeholders on how they can help accelerate climate action going forward.

The business of improving lives and livelihoods 

As an example , the High-Level Champions convened a group of business leaders and national government representatives to discuss how the private sector, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can double down and work with governments to develop ambitious, enhanced national climate action plans (Nationally Determined Contributions – NDCs) ahead of COP30. 

Businesses can support governments to come forward with strong, ambitious NDCs through demonstrating progress and the benefits of their leadership action, highlighting and supporting relevant policy options, and offering input and collaboration to governments as delivery partners. 

During the discussion, a call was also made for enabling policies to create not just a “level playing field” but a “high level playing field” to keep businesses honest and ensure promises can be turned into actionable plans. Business representatives also  identified the lack of green skill jobs as a critical issue for implementation and the need to work closer with academia to bridge this gap.

Given subnational government leaders often work as ‘first responders’ to climate impacts, the need for greater collaboration between national and subnational governments to accelerate implementation in cities and regions was emphasized at a separate event focusing on multilevel partnership for supporting enhanced NDCs. During the event, the Coalition for High Ambition Multi-level Partnerships (CHAMP) launched at COP28 was signposted as an important step forward in fostering greater coordination between the two. 

People and Planet 

The High-Level Champions also heard how the collective power of civil society groups is spearheading effective climate action, from the inspirational work of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform and the Indigenous Peoples Caucus in restoring and protecting vital ecosystems, to the Women and Gender Constituency and the wider NGO community, in ensuring that the protection of people and planet go hand in hand. 

At the event on scaling finance and implementation for adaptation, examples of how  cities, regions, businesses, investors, and civil society are using the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda as a global roadmap to improve the resilience of over four billion vulnerable people were showcased. 

Nature: Our greatest ally

Similarly, the need to enhance synergetic implementation of the three Rio Conventions and  integrate nature, land and climate priorities across all action agendas was amplified at the final event of the High-Level Champions, with the launch of the Climate Nature Coordination Platform. This aims to ensure land and nature are at the heart of enhanced NDCs during the critical months ahead of COP29, onto COP30, and towards achieving 2030 climate goals.

The power of collective action

At the close of the Bonn Climate Change Conference the message is clear. Actors across all sectors of the real economy and all parts of society must continue to make every effort to scale ambition, pick up speed and listen and work together on investable, implementable climate solutions that are anchored in the needs of national governments to meaningfully support their efforts whilst governments provide the enabling conditions for non-State actors to go further, faster.

Climate change will affect us all. We need everyone, everywhere, all at once to face this existential challenge head on and safeguard the health, security and prosperity of future generations.

Watch the videos below to hear Nigar Arpadarai and Razan Al Mubarak reflect on their time in Bonn.