Raising ambition in Bonn: High-Level Champions set out their agenda for COP 29

By Climate Champions | June 4, 2024

In the six months since a global pledge to transition away from fossil fuels was made in the UAE, the devastating reality of climate change has continued to hit hard across the globe. 

From ferocious heat across Asia to fatal floods in Kenya, Brazil and Afghanistan, people  around the world are paying with their lives, livelihoods, health and wellbeing. 

As delegates gather in Bonn for the start of the 60th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB 60), we must catalyse action and move from pledges to concrete plans.

High-Level Champions: Roadmap for action

With increasing clarity on the direction of travel, and growing momentum for action in the real economy, the High-Level Champions will host and participate in a series of public events, roundtables and workshops, in Bonn, with Marrakech Partnership, partners and government representatives to share insights and information, and discuss the remaining barriers that require cooperation to overcome. 

These discussions are intended to continue to foster collaboration between governments and non-State entities, and to support the ratcheting of ambition and delivery of ambitious 1.5°C aligned national climate plans (Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) in 2025. 

These will include: a discussion  to highlight real-economy and whole-of-society opportunities to help facilitate the implementation of the UAE Consensus, including the outcome of the global stocktake; a dialogue between cities, states and regions, governments, and other stakeholders on how to ensure multilevel partnership towards enhanced NDCs, including through initiatives such as the Coalition for High Ambition Multi-Level Partnership (CHAMP); showcasing progress and discussing next steps on the nature positive call for action; and accelerating adaptation and resilience action in line with the Global Goal on Adaptation and the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda 2030 Solutions; engagements with representatives of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform; a workshop on mainstreaming gender priorities ahead of COP 29; and a session with representatives of the finance and business community on their contributions to a successful COP 29 and delivering ambitious NDCs

The High-Level Champions will also lay out additional key priorities ahead of COP 29, as outlined in the High-Level Champions and Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action for 2024. These include scaling finance for the restoration and protection of nature, increasing the flow of capital to developing countries and Indigenous Peoples, creating a highway for climate finance towards investable NDCs, empowering Small and Medium Enterprises across the globe to capitalise on the economic opportunity available in the green economy and ensuring an inclusive COP 29 where all voices are heard.

In addition, the High-Level Champions will meet and engage with Marrakech Partnership focal points and other stakeholders to collectively align on a roadmap of global climate action towards COP 29, in the context of implementing 2030 Climate Solutions for enhanced NDCs. This will also be a crucial opportunity for the Champions to  connect with Parties of the UNFCCC process ahead of COP 29.  

Through the 2030 Climate Solutions – incorporating the 2030 Breakthroughs, and the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agendathe tools and frameworks exist to inform and support national governments to develop targets in line with the Paris Agreement.

No turning back 

The transformation is already underway. Renewables now account for a record 30% of global electricity and solar and wind are already cheaper than fossil fuels in 82% of the world with their price set to halve this decade.

In addition to these positive market signals progress and investment in climate solutions, the High-Level Champions for COP 28 and COP 29,  Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak and Nigar Arpadarai will showcase the breadth and depth of work already underway across the real economy and areas of society to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency while decarbonising all sectors of the global economy, protecting nature, and helping vulnerable communities adapt and become resilient to the ever present threats of climate change. 

Progress since COP28

Since COP 28, the High-Level Champions and the Marrakech Partnership have continued to support and advance non-State climate action by a diverse set of key players, including sub-national government, industry, business, finance, civil society and Indigenous Peoples. 

More and more real economy leaders are taking action. After adding three Partner initiatives last year, the Race to Zero welcomed the Net-Zero Export Credit Agency as a Partner in 2024  and added two Accelerators in Indonesia and West Africa. Similarly, building on the USD $40 billion mobilised by the Race to Resilience Partners in 2023, the campaign has welcomed an additional eight partners including the Climate Centre for Cities and the Green Africa Youth Organization.

Momentum continues to grow in decarbonizing industry too. The 96 members of the First Movers Coalition have now committed to buying US$16 billion worth of emerging climate technologies by 2030.

Likewise during the Fourteenth Session of the IRENA Assembly, 32 utilities  and power companies serving 350 million customers unveiled their roadmap and action plan to accelerate the shift to net-zero emissions before 2050 through the Global Utilities for Net Zero Alliance.

The Nature Positive for Climate Action campaign continues to gain momentum with over 300 businesses and financial institutions committing to nature-focused targets, disclosures, and investments. Similarly, the Mangrove Breakthrough has advanced since COP28 with the launch of its governance structure including the inaugural meeting of the Mangrove Breakthrough Council in May.

The shipping industry is also pulling together to advance the switch to green hydrogen with a coalition of the willing including producers, ports and shipowners all actively advocating for policy that incentivises the early uptake of the alternative fuel. 

This is a snapshot of progress since COP 28 and how the High-Level Champions and Marrakech Partnership are contributing to this transformational change as outlined here. As a way to take stock of this recent progress and more broadly over the last decade, the High-Level Champions are requesting feedback from national governments and all stakeholders on how they can help accelerate even further action going forward. Watch this space on how best to do so.

See here for the full High-Level Champions public events programme in Bonn. 

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