COP23: practical concrete Climate Action commitments at many levels


Though the COP23 Climate Change Conference in Bonn may have appeared as a talking shop with little progress at the political level, below the surface were a new wave of climate actions announced from countries, cities, states, regions, business and civil society.

A key aim of COP23 was to get everyone on track towards the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and to ultimately achieve the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals is urgent. It was widely recognised that time is really running out and that the current global ambition to act on climate change has to be raised and that is captured in the full set of national climate action plans (NDCs) which sit at the heart of the Agreement.

Major announcements during included funds to support the poorest and most vulnerable, whose plight has been brought into sharp perspective by this year’s extreme weather.

The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, which was launched by France and UN Environment in Paris to increase the decarbonization of buildings and the construction sector, signed a common statement to dramatically speed up and scale up collaborative action.

“We need to ensure that housing and infrastructure investments that come with growing urbanization are also low-carbon, resource-efficient and resilient to deliver the 2030 Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement,” said Martina Otto, Head of Cities Unit at UN Environment.

It is increasingly evident that cities play an essential role in both climate change mitigation and adaption, while improving their citizen’s health and well-being. Well-planned cities are resilient and reduce congestion, pollution and, by promoting energy and resource efficiency, lead to reduced emissions and resource consumption. They are hubs for innovation, jobs and social interaction.

The C40 mayors of 25 pioneering cities, representing 150 million citizens, pledged to develop and begin implementing more ambitious climate action plans before the end of 2020 to deliver emissions neutral and climate resilient cities by 2050.

Investing in Climate Action

  • InsuResilience Initiative additional USD 125 mln from Germany to support provision of insurance to 400 more million poor and vulnerable peopleby 2020. A G20 and V20 (vulnerable nations) partnership
  • Adaptation Fund exceeds 2017 Target – Germany’s contribution of 50 million euros and Italy’s contribution of 7 million euros means the Fund has now surpassed its 2017 target by over USD 13 million and stands at a total equivalent of USD 93.3 million dollars
  • Norway & Unileve rUSD 400 mln fund for public and private investment in more resilient socioeconomic development.  Investing in business models that combine investments in high productivity agriculture, smallholder inclusion and forest protection
  • Germany and Britain to provide combined USD 153 mln to expand programs to fight climate change and deforestation in Amazon rainforest
  • European Investment Bank will provide USD 75 million for a new USD 405 million investment programmeby the Water Authority of Fiji. The scheme will strengthen resilience of water distribution and wastewater treatment following Cyclone Winston, the world’s second strongest storm ever recorded, which hit Fiji in February 2016
  • Green Climate Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed up to free USD 6 million of GCF grant financing in the USD 243.1 million Saïss Water Conservation Project to make Moroccan agriculture more resilient
  • World Resources Institute announced a landmark USD2.1 billion of private investment earmarked to restore degraded lands in Latin America and the Caribbean through Initiative 20×20
  • UNDP, Germany, Spain and EU launch EUR 42 million programme NDC Support Programme at UN Climate Summit to help countries deliver on the Paris Agreement
  • NDC Partnership to establish a new regional hub to support implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the Pacific
  • 13 countries and IEA– EUR 30 mln to “IEA Clean Energy Transitions Programme” to support clean energy transitions around the world
  • Ecuador to reduce 15 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in the forest sector
  • Gabon’s National Park Service to halt illegal logging to stop emissionof 20 million tonnes of CO2
  • HSBC announces 100 billion for green investments just before COP23
  • R20 and Blue Orchard Finance’s African Sub-national Climate Fund to provide ready-to-invest projectsand funds to implement at least 100 infrastructure projects by 2020

With so many climate action pledges and initiatives from across government, business and civil society, there is a growing need to coordinate effort to ensure that every cent invested and every minute of work contributed results in a much greater impact than each acting separately.

  • below50-World Business Council on Sustainable Development initiative to grow the global market for the most sustainable fuels.
  • EcoMobility Alliance– Ambitious cities committed to sustainable transport.
  • Transforming Urban Mobility Initiative– Accelerating implementation of sustainable urban transportdevelopment and mitigation of climate change.
  • The Ocean Pathway Partnershipaims, by 2020, to strengthen action and funding that links climate change action; healthy oceans and livelihoods including through the UN Climate Change process and via national climate action plans
  • United Nations Development Programmelaunched the Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests to accelerate achievement of its goals of forest protection and restoration.

Corporate Emission Cuts

Government Ratifications

  • Syria ratified the Paris Agreement– 170 have now ratified
  • Six countries have ratified the Doha Amendment (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden) – 90 countries in total have ratified
  • Eight countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol (Comoros, Finland, Germany, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Luxembourg, Maldives, Slovakia and the UK) – 19 countries in total have ratified.
  • Further information
November 24, 2017
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