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Extreme Heat Grips the World as Climate Talks Heat Up

As the world grapples with the hottest year on record in 2023, the urgency for ambitious climate action is reaching a boiling point. With temperatures soaring to a dangerous 50°C (122°F) in parts of India, leaving thousands hospitalized and lives lost, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is raging against fossil fuel companies’ “obscene” profiteering.

Guterres called out G20 countries for not doing enough and urged all nations to deliver 1.5°C-aligned climate plans by 2025. His upcoming June 5th address is expected to be even more forceful, highlighting the “grotesque risks” facing the planet.

Bonn Climate Talks: A Test for COP28 Commitments

The ongoing UN climate talks in Bonn, the SB60 conference, serve as the first test of the commitments made at last year’s COP28 in Dubai. All eyes are on whether countries will arrive with open checkbooks, ready to triple clean energy investments and double down on energy efficiency by 2030, as mandated by the COP28 deal. Or will delegates merely sip lagers while ignoring the coal barges plying the Rhine?

The talks could face delays due to the annual “agenda fight,” with Bolivia proposing discussions on how rich countries could achieve net-zero emissions by 2030 and leverage cash for poorer nations.


3 June/0930 CEST: AOSIS presser – watch via UNFCCC webcast

3 June/1000 CEST: UNFCCC boss Simon Stiell speech – webcast

3 June/1130 CEST: Climate Action Network presser – webcast

4 June: IEA clean energy tracker report launch

5 June/1500 CEST: UNSG Antonio Guterres speech – YouTube

6 June/1000 CEST: IGCC climate science update – info here

6 June/1615 CEST: UNCTAD panel on post-2025 long-term finance goal

10 June/time TBC: Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) NDC report launch

10 June/1000 CEST: Climate Action Tracker/Climate Analytics guide to a good 2035 target

11-12 June/time TBC: Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue – webcast

Financing the Climate Battle

Central to the 2024 climate discussions is the crucial issue of finance. A UN panel hosted by the London School of Economics estimates that emerging markets and developing economies outside China require a staggering $2.4 trillion annually by 2030 to meet climate and nature goals.

While the OECD reports that the $100 billion target for climate finance was exceeded in 2022, there is still no clear plan for a post-2025 long-term finance offer. This has led to a deluge of proposals for tax mechanisms, offsets, and fossil fuel funding options.

The ACT2025 coalition of developing-country think tanks states that the post-2025 target must deliver a “financial response equal in magnitude to the scale of action required,” with estimates ranging from $6 trillion for pre-2030 NDCs alone to an additional $1 trillion by 2030 for adaptation and loss and damage costs.

Carbon Markets and Offsets: Promises and Pitfalls

With limited funds available, the promised riches of carbon offsets are luring cash-strapped nations. The US has introduced new rules on carbon market integrity, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claiming it could unlock much-needed financing. However, experts at Carbon Market Watch urge caution, demanding evidence of the benefits amid fears of “junk” offsets flooding markets after a 2023 study suggested only 6% are linked to actual emission cuts.

NDCs and 1.5°C Alignment

A key focus of 2024 is the preparation of 2035 climate plans, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), by major economies. Japan and Brazil are among the frontrunners, while the US, China, and the EU are expected to release their goals in early 2025.

Determining what constitutes a 1.5°C-aligned “all economy” target across multiple sectors remains a challenge. Resources like the IEA’s clean energy assessment, Climate Action Tracker’s NDC checklist, and Climate Analytics’ 1.5°C national pathway explorer offer guidance on what 1.5°C-aligned 2035 targets could look like for major economies.

As the world grapples with the escalating impacts of climate change, from unprecedented flooding in Brazil to intensifying heatwaves worldwide, the urgent need for decisive action and ambitious climate finance commitments has never been more apparent. The Bonn talks and the lead-up to COP29 in Baku will be crucial in shaping the global response to this existential crisis.