At this UNFCCC meeting, I attended the executive secretary briefing to observer organizations, which I found out about through the group RINGO. A small departure from the topic, but a useful fact for anyone else attending future meetings is to know about RINGOs (Research and Independent NGOs), BINGOs (Business and Industry), and YOUNGOs (youth constituency). These are constituency groups, of which there are a total of 9 within the UNFCCC process, and RINGO is the only group that doesn’t advocate as a group for any part of the process. These groups often organize useful meetings (such as this one) that provide greater access and insight into the process. I certainly wish I had known about them earlier.
At this session, the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, offered to answer anyone’s questions in a small group environment, which gave me the opportunity to ask her an ocean-focused question. Specifically, I was interested in how the global agreement on climate change (ie. Paris Agreement) could appropriately include the ocean given the importance of the ocean in mitigating climate change, the high economic value of ocean assets (recently estimated to be $24 trillion), and the fact that oceans are incurring major negative impacts from climate change.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figureres gives an executive briefing to the research and independent NGOs
One of my goals at this meeting was to reach out to delegates and discuss which ocean climate change impacts are of national concern for their countries. Ronald (Ronny) Jumeau, Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing States, was kind enough to share his thoughts on how climate change is affecting marine ecosystems in the Seychelles and how the Seychelles are enacting creative policy decisions that help strengthen ocean resilience to climate threats.
Interviewing Ambassador Ronny Jumeau at SBSTA 42 in Bonn
For a different perspective on the UNFCCC process, this time I am attending the SBSTA 42 and ADP 2-9 UNFCCC conference in Bonn, Germany, which is taking place from the 1-11 of June at the World Conference Center in Bonn. I have been welcomed by sunny skies and warm weather in Germany and the venue is an inspiring center near the bank of the Rhine River, near the UN campus. After attending two Conference of the Parties and participating in a quarter long SIO298 class on the UNFCCC process this quarter, led by John-O Niles and Lisa Levin at Scripps, I am finally seeing through the maze and learning to navigate the UNFCCC meetings.
Delegates negotiating the text of the ADP in the Chamber Hall
Infographic courtesy of Cody Gallo. To read more about how IPCC reports are written and what the different summaries are used for, check out this interview with Dr. Hans-Otto Poertner.