From COP28 to COP29: Climate change negotiations in 2024

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With COP29 only ten months away, climate finance is among the key topics for climate negotiations in 2024


The 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) concluded at the end of 2023 with several important outcomes. On the one hand, it created a dedicated fund for loss and damage, wrapped up the first-ever Global Stocktake, and established a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation that would serve to scale up and focus adaptation ambition. On the other hand, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done for operationalising the loss and damage fund and the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), and several agenda items only resulted in procedural decisions and will be carried forward.

Already, January 2024 has passed, and the 29th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP29) is only ten months away. COP29 will take place in November 2024 in Baku, Azerbaijan, and see the continuation of negotiations from COP28, which will also be taken up during the intersessional meetings in Bonn, Germany, in June. With the GGA starting a new two-year work program and the second Global Stocktake on the horizon, what are some of the key 

topics for this year?

Climate finance

Climate finance will be one of the most critical topics for the climate change negotiations in 2024, with relevant workstreams such as, the one on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance (NCQG). “Climate finance” broadly refers to local, national, or international funding that comes from public, private, or alternative sources and supports climate action, such as interventions targeting mitigation and adaptation, and is one of the key factors for the implementation of ambitious 

climate action.

As per the principles of the UNFCCC, developed countries are supposed to provide financial resources to developing countries towards implementing the objectives of the UNFCCC. Accordingly, developed countries had committed to mobilising $ 100 billion per year from 2020 onwards for the support of climate action in developing countries. However, given the vast costs associated with both climate action and climate impacts, this amount is not adequate to meet the actual needs of developing countries.

For this reason, countries are meant to decide on a new target prior to 2025, with an ad hoc work program on the topic that started in 2022 and will culminate in 2024 at COP29. This new goal, the NCQG, is supposed to raise ambition from a flow of $ 100 billion, but countries must reach consensus on a number and formulate a decision text that addresses the scope of climate finance as well as other aspects.

Key considerations regarding the NCQG include not only the amount of funding, but also its timeframe, its structure, potential sub-goals, and arrangements for tracking countries’ climate finance commitments and delivery. To support the deliberations, the Standing Committee on Finance has been asked to prepare a report on “common practices regarding climate finance definitions, reporting and accounting methods among Parties and climate finance providers” for discussion at COP29.

Furthermore, it will be important to explore different aspects of climate finance and how they connect to each other and the NCQG, such as mitigation finance, adaptation finance, loss and damage finance, carbon markets, the global financial system, and sovereign debt. As highlighted in the COP28 cover decision, “accelerated financial support for developing countries from developed countries and other sources is a critical enabler” for climate action, and therefore, a priority topic in this decisive decade up to 2030. In addition, Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement that aims to make “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development,” will feature prominently on the agenda as well.

Other key workstreams

Besides finance, the loss and damage fund, and the GGA, there are a multitude of other important agenda items and workstreams under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. This includes, among others, the mitigation work program and enhancing ambition towards emission reduction and green growth, especially also in the context of the next cycle of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)and the second Global Stocktake. Carbon trading under Article 6 as well as just transition, technology transfer, action for climate empowerment, and capacity-building are other important topics as well for 2024.

With the climate crisis intensifying, the stakes for the multilateral negotiation process are high. The road to COP29 presents a pivotal opportunity for the global community to confront the existing challenges and work towards creating strong foundations for decision texts and COP29 outcomes that acknowledge the urgency of enhanced climate action, the need for robust finance, and the value of global cooperation.

The writer works as Director: Research and Knowledge Management at SLYCAN Trust, a non-profit think tank based in Sri Lanka. His work focuses on climate change, adaptation, resilience, ecosystem conservation, just transition, human mobility, and a range of related issues. He holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Cologne, Germany and is a regular contributor to several international and local media outlets

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