International climate talks have resumed following an 18-month absence, with diplomats from around the world attempting to negotiate the final rules of the Paris Agreement via the online medium of Microsoft Teams. The “intersessional” meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) “subsidiary bodies” (SBs) normally takes place in the German city of Bonn, halfway between two conferences of the parties (COPs). After Covid-19 ruled out last year’s events entirely, this year it was forced online as nations tried to set the groundwork for the delayed COP26 in Glasgow later this year. The event took place from 31 May to 17 June, with delegates allowed an additional week than is usual in order to make up for lost time. However, the online talks were kept “informal”, meaning their outcomes have no legal status, with no formal decisions being made until diplomats meet in person. Discussions were marred by technical difficulties and made little progress on most of the key issues, with an unmet $100bn pledge on climate finance looming over the talks. There was also a lack of clarity on how the UK intends to go ahead with an in-person COP26 climate summit in November, despite its pledge to provide attendees with vaccines.
Carbon Brief 18th June 2021 read more »