IES researchers Sebastian Oberthür and Lisanne Groen attend UN climate change negotiations

IES researchers Sebastian Oberthür and Lisanne Groen, both members of the Environment and Sustainable Development cluster, attended the UN climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany, that were held from 19 to 23 October 2015.

Lisanne was in Bonn for a few days to collect data for her PhD research project in political science: one of the case studies in her project covers the negotiation process from December 2011 until December 2015 towards a new global climate change agreement. Her research focuses on measuring and explaining the European Union’s degree of goal achievement in this process. Lisanne attended the negotiations as a member of the delegation of Belgium.

Sebastian was not only in Bonn to follow the negotiation process, but also had various meetings to explore scope for future cooperative projects. A blog on the legal nature and form of a possible Paris Agreement on climate change co-authored by Sebastian was published on the first day of the conference at climatechangenews.com. Sebastian provided short comments about the result of the negotiations and the prospects for Paris on the Flemish VRT radio news on Friday evening 23 October.

The October session was the last negotiation session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) before the Paris climate conference, which will start on Monday 30 November 2015 and is scheduled to end on 11 December 2015. In Bonn, negotiators from the parties to the UN climate change convention (195 countries and the European Union) worked on a draft text that should serve as the basis for a new global agreement to tackle climate change to be concluded in Paris. This text grew during the Bonn session and is now 51 pages long. It still has to be shortened considerably, getting rid of many brackets, which means that the parties have to make political compromises. A pre-COP, at which ministers of about 80 parties will come together to discuss key outstanding issues, will take place from 8 to 10 November in Paris. It is hoped that this meeting can help to prepare the necessary political compromises. Work on the agreement should be finalised early on in the second week of the negotiations in Paris.