What Came Out of the Latest Global Climate Talks?


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The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing about the takeaways from the latest global climate talks, which concluded in Bonn, Germany, on November 18. The 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) focused on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is slated to start in 2020. The Paris Climate Agreement calls on the world’s nations to keep global warming significantly below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels. The year 2016 was already 1.2 C warmer than the 1850-1900 baseline.

Every single member of the United Nations is part of the Paris Agreement, but President Trump indicated in June that the United States will withdraw from the agreement in 2020 (the earliest it is legally able to). His decision briefly threw the entire agreement into question, as U.S. participation is deemed essential if the global community is to meet its climate goals. Indeed, the United States is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind only China. Nevertheless, the other 194 signatories of the Agreement are pressing forward.

Speakers for this forum are:
**H.E. Solo Mara, Ambassador, Embassy of Fiji
**Anton Hufnagl, First Secretary for Climate, Environmental and Urban Affairs, Embassy of Germany
**Sam Ricketts, Director of Federal and Inter-State Affairs, Washington DC Office of Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA)
**Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy

Participants in this year’s climate conference worked on developing guidelines for the Paris Climate Agreement, which are due by November 2018. These guidelines are critical, as they will determine how the agreement is implemented (and, ultimately, how successful it is). The topic of climate finance was also intensely discussed. Developed countries have promised to provide $100 billion a year to developing countries by 2020 to help them lower their emissions and adapt to climate change. But securing this funding has proved difficult.

This year’s climate conference was the first time the United States did not take a strong leadership role in almost a decade. The U.S. government sent a small, lower-ranking delegation, despite its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. But the United States was also represented by a delegation of four governors and many local officials, led by California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This unofficial delegation declared that, although the current administration does not intend to meet the Paris Agreement goals, other U.S. governmental and business actors will seek to do so.

Free and open to the public

For more information, contact Brian La Shier at blashier@eesi.org or (202) 662-1892.

Location

Dirksen Senate Office Building
562 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

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