The 2023 Bonn Climate Conference (SB 58) will be held from the 5th to the 15th of June 2023 at the World Conference Center Bonn (WCCB), in Bonn, Germany.
Issues relevant to Loss and Damage that will be discussed at SB 58 include: matters relating to the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage (SNLD), The Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST), the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG) and during the Second Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage.
This blog provides a summary of the discussions that will take place at SB 58 in relation to each issue, our expectations for progress, and contextualization of how discussions at SB 58 will shape the road to COP28. For a longer detailed exploration, please see this brief.
The Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement
The first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST) is being undertaken between 2021 and 2023, with three phases:
(1) Information collection;
(2) Technical assessment, and;
(3) Output consideration.
The technical assessment phase includes a series of in-person technical dialogues held in three meetings in conjunction with SB 56 (Bonn 2022), SB 57 (COP27 2022), and SB 58 (Bonn 2023) during which the information received in phase 1 is reviewed with the intention of informing decisions to be made during phase 3 at COP 28.
At SB 58 the third meeting of the technical dialogue (TD1.3) of the GST will take place from the 6th –13th of June. Key TD1.3 sessions on Loss and Damage include the roundtable on Adaptation/Loss and Damage in the afternoon of the 8th of June. This will be the third and last meeting of the technical dialogue of the GST.
At SB 58, Parties and civil society must continue to advocate for Loss and Damage to be included in the GST to ensure that regular reviews of finance to address loss and damage are taking place in order to identify gaps, levels of accessibility to finance, the social and economic impact of financing flows to address loss and damage, and other relevant trends.
At the same time Parties and civil society must support vulnerable developing country Parties to include information relevant to Loss and Damage in their NDCs and other communication and reporting documents relevant to the GST.
Furthermore, Parties and civil society must amplify the call from the Climate Vulnerable Forum and other vulnerable developing country groups and Parties to develop a regular Loss and Damage finance gap report to be undertaken by a United Nations (UN) agency such as UN Environment Programme (UNEP) or United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The GST provides an important opportunity to ensure that regular reviews of finance to address loss and damage are taking place, in order to identify gaps, levels of accessibility to finance, the social and economic impact of financing flows to address loss and damage, and other relevant trends. Without the inclusion of Loss and Damage in the GST, processes for systematically collecting, recording and reporting information on loss and damage, and related financial and technical needs of impacted countries and communities, will not be enacted.
The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance
The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG), is set to be agreed at COP 29 in 2024. The NCQG will supersede the $100 billion (USD) target agreed upon in 2009 at COP 15 in Copenhagen.
At COP 26 in Glasgow, the work program for the NCQG was launched to initiate discussions on the scope and scale of the NCQG. The NCQG work program will run from 2022-24 (up until COP 29) and includes four technical expert dialogues (TEDs) and a High-level Ministerial Dialogue each year. At SB 58 the NCQG will see its 6th TED from the 12-13th of June.
Whilst the $100 billion (USD) target only included climate finance for mitigation and adaptation, to meet the needs and priorities of developing countries the NCQG will also need to include Loss and Damage as a third pillar alongside adaptation and mitigation, with a sub-goal on Loss and Damage finance.
With mid-point modelling suggesting that loss and damage in developing countries will cost $425bn a year in the 2020s and $671bn a year in the 2030s, a minimum floor of $400bn a year has been suggested for the NCQG. This suggested quantum would see developing country Parties cover any gaps in the $400bn baseline when fair and equitable alternative sources fall short (e.g. climate damages tax, frequent flyer levy).
It is also important for Parties and civil society to recognise that the NCQG will supersede the US$100 billion commitment and that this original goal was unrelated to needs and based solely on political feasibility. Moreover, it should be highlighted that not only has the $100bn not been met by developed country Parties, but that it was wholly inadequate to begin with because it did not take into account the actual needs of developing countries.
When it comes to selecting the Loss and Damage goal under the NCQG, the scale for Loss and Damage finance must be based on country ownership, driven by the needs and views of citizens and residents, and countries’ comprehensive needs assessments, which must be developed through participatory and democratic engagement processes that take into account the needs and priorities of all citizens, are pro-poor, inclusive, and based on the best available science. Therefore the NCQG cannot be static but will have to dynamically evolve as the climate crisis escalates and where needed rise in line with inflation.
When agreed, the NCQG must state that all climate finance flows, including for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage, are new and additional, non-debt-generating, and gender-responsive. Whilst finance to address loss and damage must be included in any review mechanisms established for the NCQG and in the NCQG’s transparency modalities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF).
In order to ensure that the Loss and Damage Fund is capitalised at the scale of the needs so that funds can be dispersed as soon as it becomes operational, The 6th Technical Expert Dialogue of the NCQG must set the stage for an ambitious outcome at COP 28.
The Santiago Network for Loss and Damage
Throughout SB 58, Parties will consider who will host the secretariat of the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage (SNLD).
The selection process for the host of the SNLD’s secretariat, which is being led by the UNFCCC secretariat under the guidance of the chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies, was launched upon the conclusion of COP 27 and Parties have agreed they will select the host by COP28 in 2023.
Two proposals have been received to host the SNLD’s secretariat, and the executive summaries have been made available on the UNFCCC website, they include:
The expected outcome of SB 58 on the SNLD is a draft decision with one proposal for a host, with the UNFCCC secretariat to develop a draft host agreement or memorandum of understanding with the proposed host to be considered and approved by Parties at COP 28.
It is critical that the SNLD’s secretariat has a host that is able to facilitate the delivery of the Network’s functions in an effective manner. At COP 27, Parties considered this carefully and set out criteria to evaluate host proposals in a detailed annex to the decision. The evaluation reports, which will guide Parties at SB 58, have been prepared following the convening of an evaluation panel to consider the criteria decided at COP 27. The criteria include: technical capacity, management and governance, financial management and vision and a management plan.
To deliver a fit-for-purpose Santiago Network, the host of the SNLD’s secretariat will not only need to meet the expectations of Parties, but also of communities on the front lines of the climate crisis that urgently need technical assistance to address loss and damage.
Without the delivery of a draft decision on the SNLD at SB 58, the UNFCCC secretariat will not be able to develop a draft host agreement or memorandum of understanding to be considered and approved by Parties at COP 28. This will further delay the full operationalisation of the SNLD, leaving frontline communities without much-needed technical assistance. With work to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund underway, the SNLD must be up and running (and financed) to provide operational guidance to the Fund, technical assistance to guide programs to address Loss and Damage, and support impacted communities to undertake Loss and Damage needs assessments.
The Loss and Damage Fund and Funding Arrangements
The historic decision to establish a Loss and Damage Fund and Funding Arrangements at COP 27 included the setting up of a Transitional Committee to carry work forward to COP 28. The Transitional Committee is mandated to provide recommendations at COP 28 on the operationalisation of the Fund and Funding Arrangements.
During the first TC meeting (TC1), which took place in Luxor, Egypt, between the 27–29th of March, the working arrangements and work plan of the TC were agreed. Tasked to undertake at least three TC meetings (TC1-3), it was decided at TC1 that a fourth TC meeting (TC4) would be needed to fulfil the TC’s mandate. In addition to TC 4, the UNFCCC will conduct two workshops (WS1 & 2) to inform the work of the TC, and, between TC 3 and 4, the COP 27 and 28 Presidencies will facilitate a ministerial consultation.
The first workshop (WS1) took place between the 29 – 30th of April, in Bonn, Germany, and TC 2 took place between the 25th – 27th of May, also in Bonn. In every TC meeting so far, trends have emerged that suggest that developing and developed country Parties have different visions for the Fund and Funding arrangements, with developed country Parties problematically hinting, amongst other things, that they would prefer a Fund outside of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC with limited scope and instead are focused on the Funding Arrangements for which they see significant roles for Multilateral Development Banks (e.g. The World Bank), big existing humanitarian organisations (e.g. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) and for insurance including via the Global Sheild Again Climate Risk. Whereas developing country parties see, amongst other things, the Loss and Damage Fund as an operating entity of the UNFCCC governed by the COP and CMA with 3 windows covering extreme events, slow onset events, and long-term recovery and rehabilitation that address non-economic and economic loss and damage. Loss and Damage finance from developed country contributions and alternative sources such as levies (e.g. air passenger and maritime shipping levies), delivered as grants, not loans, that are predictable and at the scale of the needs, and from sources based upon the principles of equity, CBDR, historic responsibility and Polluter Pays. See here and here for detailed summaries of TC 1 and see here for a summary of TC2.
With the TC process ongoing, Loss and Damage Finance will not be considered under a separate agenda item at SB 58. However, it will be discussed during the second Glasgow Dialogue.
The Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage
At SB 58 the second Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage will run from the 8-10th of June. As part of the historic decision to establish a Loss and Damage Fund and Funding arrangements at COP27, the COP 26 Glasgow Dialogue decision was enhanced to mandate the dialogue to inform the work of the TC. The same COP 27 decision also gave clear instructions as to what the focus of the Glasgow Dialogue should be. This includes the “operationalization of the new funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage and the Loss and Damage Fund” as well as “maximizing support from existing funding arrangements relevant for, among other things, responding to economic and non-economic losses, slow onset events and extreme weather events”.
For the Glasgow Dialogue to be successful, it must be completed in a way that informs the work of the TC, the recommendations the Committee will provide at COP 28, and concrete decisions on the Loss and Damage Fund and Funding Arrangements at COP 29. This should include outcomes that provide recommendations to the Transitional Committee on mobilising funding, supporting complementarity and coherence within the evolving loss and damage finance architecture, including distinct actors and initiatives of a “mosaic of solutions” under the leadership of the Loss and Damage Fund. See this mapping study for more recommendations.
How to Follow Loss and Damage at the Bonn Climate Conference?
Whilst the Bonn Climate Conference is not quite as hectic as the COP there is still a lot happening in a short period of time. We, therefore, recommend checking out the useful overview schedule as well as the calendar for side events to plan your engagement. Many of SB 58’s sessions and side events will also be available as webcasts when links are made available by the UNFCCC secretariat. During SB 58 we will be releasing daily Loss and Damage Twitter thread summaries and provide live Twitter coverage where possible via @lossandamage. We will also be sharing notes from the negotiations, collecting media articles and providing background information on the different Loss and Damage work streams in our SB 58 Master Document.
Teo Ormond-Skeaping is the Loss and Damage Collaboration’s Advocacy, Outreach and Communications Lead, he is also an award-winning artist, filmmaker and photographer working on projects relating to political ecology, Loss and Damage, climate-induced migration and displacement, Slow Violence and the political and cultural critique of the Anthropocene.
Julie-Anne Richards is the Loss and Damage Collaboration’s Strategy Lead. She has two decades of experience working on the climate crisis, has written extensively on loss and damage, and campaigned with civil society and in collaboration with vulnerable countries on the need for loss and damage finance.
This article has been Funded by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung New York Office with support from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The publishers are solely responsible for the content of this publication; the opinions presented here do not reflect the position of the BMZ. We also note that views and any errors, are the authors alone and that the content of this brief does not necessarily represent the views of all the members of the Loss and Damage Collaboration (L&DC).