Climate Change Progress, the US Withdrawal and What We can Expect From COP23

In light of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement (PA) in June 2017, continued political momentum and concrete outcomes at upcoming climate change summits are needed to reinforce global commitment to the PA. From 6–17 November 2017 nearly 200 countries will convene in Bonn, Germany to advance progress on climate change action. The 23rd meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an important milestone within a much longer negotiating process. COP23 is meant to finalise the technical aspects for the implementation of the PA. Many of the details on implementation modalities, procedures and guidelines to operationalise the PA are yet to be finalised – a process that needs to be concluded by COP24 in November 2018. Negotiating parties need clarity on a number of key issues, including implementation assistance – ie, unlocking climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer. COP23 is also an important stocktaking opportunity to assess the cumulative contributions of national actions.