What was the outcome of COP23 and what happens now?

There have been two busy weeks in Bonn, with negotiations covering everything from the precise wording of a Gender Action Plan to a “rulebook” for the Paris Agreement. In my first blog post, I mentioned three main areas to look out for; the process on making the Paris Agreement operational, the mechanisms developing to increasing action per every fifth year and the highlighting of vulnerable countries and communities.

The negotiations on the Paris Agreement started on Tuesday morning and have continued over the week. Transparency and inclusion of stakeholders have been a major part of the discussions, an important part for democratic Agreement. The work on the rulebook started at COP22 in Marrakesh last year, and the process has covered a broad range including

  • the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) framework
  • how to record work on adaptation
  • making sure members act in compliance with the Paris Agreement
  • ensure transparent reporting of progress in the Agreement

While the “deadline” of this rulebook is COP24 next year, which will be held in Poland, this year’s draft has revealed potential disagreements and the options for moving forward. Look at the COP23 key outcomes agreed at UN Climate Talks for a more detailed summary of the progress on the rulebook.

Another discussion, aka the Talanoa dialogue, has been the work on enhanced ambition, or the mechanisms for increasing action every five years. The outcome of the dialogue highlights three questions; Where are we?, Where do we want to go? and How do we get there?. The document can be found in the Annex of COP23’s outcome decision.

The final point I have followed is Fiji’s focus on vulnerable countries and communities. This focus can be seen in the progress in areas such as a Gender Action Plan, the Ocean Pathway Partnership and the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.

  • The Gender Action Plan strengthens gender-responsive climate policy and highlights the need to mainstream gender into all activities. It also underlines the need to incorporate women into decision-making and implementation of climate policies.
  • The Ocean Pathway Partnership stresses the need for countries to include the ocean in their work on climate change. It aims to allow for projects working on ocean health and ocean ecosystems to receive UNFCCC funding.
  • The Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform provides a space for an exchange of best practice on mitigation and adaptation measures that respect and safeguard local community and indigenous people.

Undoubtedly, there has been a lot of work in these two weeks, and while we have seen progress, the negotiations have highlighted the need for speed. The increase of climate disasters shows that countries need to evaluate as well as act on their intended nationally determined contributions on reducing emissions and keep this ambition going for COP24 in Poland 2018. Work on climate change is an all-year-round effort, so until next year, have a look at some organisations work.

Help locally with the NTSU Conservation Society or contact the NTU Environment Team to see how you can get involved.

Or nationally at UKYCC, or at a global level with YOUNGO or 350.

Or if you just want to chat about climate change contact me.




-This blog post was written by Alexandra Arntsen, associate lecturer in the Green Academy, on the UNFCCC negotiations at COP23 in Bonn. 

Want to write a blog post that’s featured on this site? Email us your ideas today at GreenAcademy@ntu.ac.uk!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s