Fiji launches climate story time amid calls for stronger Paris pledges

BONN- Should countries update their climate pledges by 2020? That was the core debate as a stocktake of global efforts launched at interim UN climate talks in Bonn on Wednesday.

The EU and countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts said the process, known as the Talanoa Dialogue, must result in a political commitment to increase national targets. But the biggest bloc of developing countries, G77 + China, argued it should not be “prescriptive”.

UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said countries must collectively close the gap between the goal of the Paris Agreement to hold global warming “ideally” to 1.5C and current pledges putting the world on track for double that. “Climate change will take every challenge we now face and multiply them,” she said. “We can do better and we must.”

Jointly led by Fiji and Poland, presidents of the 2017 and 2018 climate summits respectively, the dialogue draws on Pacific storytelling tradition. Government representatives will meet outside experts in a series of “non-confrontational” parallel sessions on Sunday.

They were given three questions to answer: where are we, where do we want to go and how do we get there? Advance written submissions propose a wide range of technology, lifestyle and policy solutions across various sectors.

Researchers, lobbyists and campaigners found out on Tuesday whether they had got a coveted place at the table and scrambled to coordinate their interventions.