Amidst global divisions over the future role of fossil fuels, the Bonn climate talks generally kept up the momentum from the Paris agreement, and shifted the focus to technical, procedural, and economic aspects of the path forward to reduce emissions, according to BBC News. Next year’s talks, which will take place in Katowice, Poland, are expected to see a fight over the future of fossil fuels, as the US continues to send mixed signals over their commitment to cutting carbon emissions.
At the same time, the rest of the COP23 attendees are moving forward with the specifics of cutting the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions. The new Talanoa Dialogue, proposed by Fiji, who presided over this year’s climate talks, will set up a process for nations to review and improve their carbon-reduction efforts. The dialogue will involve a series of discussions over the next year, in which countries examine whether they are on track to meet their commitments laid out in the Paris agreement.
Yamide Dagnet, of the World Resources Institute said of the upcoming year:
“A key element in Poland is this Talanoa dialogue, to make sure it doesn’t result in just a talk show.”
He also added that “in Poland, ministers will have to look each other in the eye and say they will go home and enhance their actions, so that by 2020 we end up with national plans that will be a much more ambitious set of climate actions.”
While less dramatic than the Paris victory in 2015, the meetings offered a glimpse of how the practicalities of reducing carbon emissions will actually move forward. And many observers were noting with cautious optimism that Trump’s dismissal of the Paris agreement, and climate change in general, did not seem to throw the rest of the nations off course in their negotiations.
The US presence itself seemed divided. Not only did an unofficial delegation of American business leaders, governors, and mayors commit to meet their Paris obligations, with Washington governor Jay Inslee stating that Trump could “tweet his fingers off, but he won’t stop us.”
Despite holding official events promoting fossil fuels, even the official US delegation’s statement, stuck with a message more in line with the goals of the meeting, saying:
“The United States intends to remain engaged with our many partners and allies around the world on these issues, here in the UN Framework Convention and everywhere else.”