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Blog | All Eyes on Bonn: The Global Stocktake and its Role in Shaping the New Collective Quantified Goal for SIDS

Key Takeaways:


  • The upcoming 60th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB60) in Bonn, Germany, presents a crucial opportunity for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to take the spotlight and assert their unique challenges and existential threats induced by climate change. The unified voices of members and allies to SIDS will be key in determining the outcomes of SB60 and the progress towards the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG) ahead of COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

  • While the Global Stocktake failed to deliver on the phaseout of fossil fuels—further narrowing pathways to the 1.5°C threshold—it also identified areas for improvement, including enhanced access to climate finance and streamlined processes by international climate funds and multilateral development banks, which SIDS can leverage to address adaptation funding gaps and resilience needs.

  • Integrating a loss and damage sub-goal under the NCQG is important for distinguishing itself from other climate financing thresholds, such as adaptation and mitigation. It is also essential for SIDS to lead the conversation to establish a common definition, as the provision of support hinges on whether “loss and damage” is quantifiable, perhaps through a new reporting mechanism or scheme.

Small Island Developing States

In June 2024, countries will convene in Bonn, Germany, for the 60th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB60) to advance agreements made during the last Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).


COP28 marked not only the end of 2023 but also the beginning of a renewed vision towards defining the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) from 2025 onwards. Since 2009, developed countries have fallen short of their commitment to mobilize and channel $100 billion annually in climate finance toward developing countries, impeding its delivery and increasing the level of uncertainty on whether the timelines defined in the Paris Agreement can still be achieved. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that the total provision and delivery of climate finance in 2021 amounted to $89.6 billion, which although shows a significant increase from 2020 ($83.3 billion) and previous years, it still falls short of the $100 billion threshold.


For Small Island Developing States (SIDS)—these islands have historically contributed the least to climate change but are frequently hit the hardest by its cascading effects—the Bonn Climate Change Conference will be critical for amplifying their voices on key areas related to the NCQG, including the newly established Loss and Damage Fund and the world’s first-ever Global Stocktake (GST). These two outcomes will inform the benchmarks for financing adaptation and resilience under the NCQG.


Outcomes of the Global Stocktake


Introducing GST and its outcomes


The GST is an essential component of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) used for monitoring its progress on implementation and evaluating the collective progress made by member Parties.


What does this outcome mean for SIDS?


Although the GST has been successfully implemented, the results of this transparency have revealed larger concerns for SIDS, as the pathways to limiting global temperatures to 1.5° C have become narrower. The release of the final text at COP28 concluded with a call to “transition” away from fossil fuels in energy systems rather than the complete phaseout of fossil fuels, increasing the risk of compromising the 1.5°C threshold that has already been proven difficult for countries to achieve. 


In a closing statement made by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)—an intergovernmental organization representing 39 low-lying coastal and small island countries—the primary objective of COP28 was targeted at ensuring that 1.5°C was safeguarded under the GST. As such, the failure to deliver a subsidy phaseout in the final text has led to swelling uncertainty around what this means for SIDS’ survival and their continued efforts in adapting and building resilience to climate change.


The GST as an Enabler for Scaling Climate Finance


Despite the shortcomings of the GST phasing out fossil fuels entirely, there are positive perspectives to acknowledge and capitalize on. The development of the GST and technical synthesis report under the UNFCCC has strengthened the baselines for not only gauging the level of climate action taken by Parties but also identifying areas and gaps where climate financing is inadequate.


Subsequently, the Stocktake highlighted the need for enhanced access and streamlined processes for mobilizing finance from international climate funds (i.e., the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund) and the catalysation of private finance from multilateral development banks (MDBs) towards developing economies, including SIDS under the new MDB Reform Agenda.


For SIDS, efforts surrounding improved adaptation and resilience remain a paramount priority for effectively responding to climate change. However, limited access to development financing and increasing debt sustainability have hampered their ability to convey accurate financing needs to developed countries. As a result, SIDS are considering the effectiveness of the GST in how it could facilitate and influence adaptation interventions on mobilizing financial resources under the NCQG.


Integrating Loss and Damage as a Sub-Goal for the NCQG


Defining L&D for SIDS


Another outcome of COP28 was the agreement by Parties to fully operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund—a dedicated fund for assisting the most climate-vulnerable countries in their response to loss and damage. Since its inception at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the idea of loss and damage raised many questions on whether it overlapped with elements defined under adaptation. Currently, there is no universally agreed upon definition of what loss and damage is under the UNFCCC. However, because climate change poses an existential threat to SIDS, it is essential that a common-ground definition is established to:


  1. harness the resources provided and

  2. promote transparency and accountability under the Loss and Damage Fund.

The concept of loss and damage in SIDS refers to things that are permanently lost and can not be restored such as the erosion of cultural lands and irreversible loss of terrestrial, marine and coastal biodiversity.


According to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), SIDS suffer “higher levels of loss and damage than non-SIDS across all income groups and experience five times more climate change-attributable deaths due to extreme weather.”

To ensure the Loss and Damage Fund is optimized for SIDS, members and allies of small island states must collectively push the agenda forward in Bonn on informing, defining, and integrating Loss and Damage as an independent sub-goal of the NCQG. In the absence of a common definition, a mechanism for quantifying and reporting loss and damage could be key for SIDS to communicate their needs.


Conclusion


Furthermore, the upcoming SB60 Conference will provide a platform and opportunity for SIDS to once again underscore the urgency faced by their people amidst the climate crisis. Members and allies of SIDS will need to communicate, leverage and amplify the alarming findings from the GST to inform the sub-goals on adaptation finance under the NCQG, ensuring it captures and reflects the contextual elements of these low-lying coastal countries.


In addition, SIDS will need to push for the integration of Loss and Damage as a parallel threshold to adaptation and mitigation. It is imperative that SIDS aim to establish a common definition as well to help accelerate the deployment of climate finance towards loss and damage causes. By doing so, spotlighting these activities and considerations will not only raise the ambitions of Parties to accelerate climate action but also contribute significantly to shaping the NCQG as we journey closer to COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

 
CCAP stands committed to bolstering the resilience of SIDS in the face of the daunting climate challenges they confront.

How we are currently supporting SIDS:

 

Recognizing the urgency and gravity of their situation, CCAP is committed to supporting SIDS. Our goal is to collaborate closely with SIDS, leveraging our expertise in climate action and policy—specifically climate finance, carbon markets and methane mitigation—to catalyze tangible change. Through strategic partnerships, capacity-building initiatives and innovative solutions, CCAP seeks to foster a more equitable and sustainable future for SIDS, where their unique cultures, environments and aspirations can flourish despite the array of unique challenges they face.


 

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