Bonn climate change summit: the key takeaways

Written by By Corinne Purtill, CNN Germany, for CNN

Diplomats and environment experts from all over the world met in Bonn, Germany, this week for the latest in a series of United Nations climate change meetings.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 closed Tuesday, with an agreement for the international community to move toward an international agreement to help ratchet up climate action in 2020.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the climate summit.

1. The next climate agreement won’t be the last

Whether it’s the agreement in Paris in 2015, or the adaptation plan being negotiated now, we will be committed to international climate action for decades to come.

2. Voices against the green transition don’t have a foothold in government

Seen as a way to “get things done” or as reactionary, “green” votes have been used by governments across the world to sway voters.

According to the New Climate Economy research study, green is a pillar of economic development. At the UN meeting in Bonn, this message was clearly articulated in the Facebook Live streamed by the UN in the global headquarters.

3. China is leading the way on climate

The decision by China to commit to their own emissions reduction goal of 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 provides the groundwork for other countries to agree to similar national targets by 2020.

4. Imbalance between rich and poor countries remains unchanged

This imbalance has two main dynamics, with the first one being that there is higher greenhouse gas emissions in poorer countries than those in richer countries.

The second comes with a direct impact on people and countries who most need climate action and education. But this imbalance is not a new one.

5. Public support for a strong climate action agreement has skyrocketed

The purpose of this comment was to highlight the public stance in favor of an ambitious agreement. Though still hesitant on the entire process, people around the world are more convinced of the need for action than ever before.

6. Technicalities will be discussed in COP24, but language will be delivered

COP24 will be in Poland in November, but this year’s speech by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Bonn means the work is already half done. The community of climate science knows that without a consensus agreement on the next targets and pathways for climate action, there is no path forward.

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