As the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) prepares for its 50th session in Bonn from 17 to 27 June, its Chair, Paul Watkinson (France) notes that turning 50 invites a moment of reflection.
Whilst there has been a great deal of progress since the first meeting of SBSTA in 1995, the world has not yet succeeded in stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Indeed, since that first meeting, concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory –as the Keeling curve shows– have increased from just over 359 parts per million to as high as 415 ppm in recent weeks, and concentrations of other greenhouse gases have also increased significantly over the same period.
Against this background, it is important that the products of SBSTA can successfully help Parties in their actions to adapt to and to mitigate climate change by continuing to improve our understanding of the science, mobilising expertise, fostering cooperation and developing tools and methods that can help to strengthen implementation and to enhance ambition.
To help Parties prepare the upcoming session, Paul Watkinson has prepared a reflections note that outlines possible approaches to organise work so as to make progress towards a successful COP25 in Santiago, Chile, in December.
As well as structuring work under the different negotiation streams, a number of mandated and special events will be organised during the session, including a research dialogue, technical expert meetings on adaptation and mitigation, the first meeting of the Katowice committee of experts on the impacts of the implementation of response measures, the Local communities and indigenous people platform, background briefings to support the negotiations on certain topics (the enhanced transparency framework, expert reviewer training), the 2019 IPCC refinement on inventories, cooperation with UN and international organisations and on the recent IPBES global assessment. The aim is to build capacity, to strengthen action on climate change and to build synergies beyond the climate silo.
The first special event will be focussed on the recent IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and will take place on Monday 17 June at 1.15-2.45 pm (Room Santiago de Chile, WCCB). For more information about the event, click here.