Bonn 2017 UN Climate Change Conference - COP23

Date: 6th - 17th November 2017
Location: Bonn, Germany

EU-PolarNet was co-organiser of three polar side events at the COP23, which was organised by Fiji and took place in Bonn, Germany.

Arctic States and Small Island States: Two regions inextricably linked through climate change

Organized by EU-PolarNet, ICE-ARC, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Alfred Wegener Institute and the British Antarctic Survey

Date and Time: Friday, 10th November, 10:45-11:45
Location: Fiji Pavilion, COP23 Bonn Zone (accreditation needed), Bonn, Germany

The region encompassed by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will be among the most affected countries by global climate change.  The Arctic, on the other hand, contain key tipping elements of the Earth system; warming at over twice the global average. Despite being separated by many thousands of kilometres, these two regions and their people are inextricably linked by man-made climate change.  

This session provided an opportunity for influential leaders to demonstrate the dramatic climate driven changes that are occurring in these fundamentally different regions, explain why the international community must increase the ambition of its mitigation and adaptation efforts, and provide their vision for outcome of the COP23.

Key note speakers:

  • Hon. Inia Seruiratu (Fiji's Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development, and National Disaster Management)
  • Aqqaluk Lynge (Former President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council)
  • Manuel Pulgar-Vidal (Head of WWF’s Climate and Energy Practice, President of COP20)

Scientific panel:

  • Deon E. Terblanche (World Meteorological Organization)
  • Angelika Humbert (Alfred Wegener Institute)
  • Ulric Trotz (Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre)
  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

  • (Photo: Michael-Funcke-Bartz, GIZ)

Adaptation Now! But how? How climate research in the polar regions is influencing adaptation strategies for Small Island States.

Organized by EU-PolarNet, ICE-ARC, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Alfred Wegener Institute and the British Antarctic Survey

Date and Time: Saturday, 11th November, 10:00-12:30
Location: Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Bonn, Germany

Millions of people living in Small Island Developing States and low-lying countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, especially sea-level rise. The Paris Agreement provides different climate finance mechanisms to allow these countries to adapt to the adverse effects and reduce the impacts of climate change. Informed decision-making on the appropriate strategies and policies for adaptation and resilience building requires, more than ever before, a profound scientific basis.

Europe is performing research focused on understanding rapid changes in both Polar Regions, and determining the impact these changes have at both a regional and global level. Such research provides a solid foundation from which we can better understand the dynamics of global climate change, and provides new insights about the relevance of the Arctic and Antarctic regions within the global climate system. For example, the melting of glaciers and ice sheets in the Polar Regions are a major contributor to sea-level rise. As a consequence, Small Island Developing States and Arctic States are two regions inextricably linked by man-made climate change. COP 23 provides an excellent opportunity to bring together representatives from SIDS, the Arctic and polar research.

This side-event provided an excellent opportunity to better understand the adaptation challenges and the possible financing mechanisms required to support resilience building and adaptation (or even migration) processes. By bringing together science, policy and society we learned more about the triggers of global sea-level rise and the impacts especially on Arctic and Small Island Developing States.

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Part 1: Introduction and keynotes

  • HE Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati
  • Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Head of WWF’s Climate and Energy Practice, president of COP20 in Lima, former Peruvian Environment Minister
  • Aqqaluk Lynge, Former President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council

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Part 2: Scientific background from the Polar Regions and Small Island Developing States

  • Ice-sheet and glacier retreat - Drivers, scientific evidence and projections:
    Dr David Vaughan
    (British Antarctic Survey, Director of Science)

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Part 3: Panel discussion: How can science and civil society work together on adaptation strategies?

  • HE Anote Tong (Former President of Kiribati)
  • Aqqaluk Lynge (Former President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council)
  • Angelika Humbert (Alfred Wegener Institute)
  • Dmitry Yumashev (Lancaster University Management School)
  • Ricarda Winkelmann (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)
  • Sabine Minninger (Brot für die Welt)

Polar insights for climate action: Arctic science contributions to implementing the Paris Agreement

Organized by the EU Arctic Cluster

Date and Time: Wednesday, 15th November, 11:45 - 13:00
Location: EU Pavilion, Room Brussels, COP23 Bonn Zone (accreditation needed), Bonn, Germany

Warming at almost twice the global average rate, the Arctic is a key region for understanding wider climate change impacts. Mitigation and adaptation strategies in the Arctic are thus an integral part of the EU’s wider efforts to combat climate change and to implement the Paris Agreement. This session provided up-to-date and policy-relevant information on Arctic change and its global implications, including thawing permafrost, the contribution of melting glaciers and ice sheets on the global sea level, the influence of the Arctic on the global oceans, and changing weather patterns.

Speakers

  • Prof Jonathan Bamber (Moderator), President of the European Geosciences Union (UK);
  • Dr Andrea Tilche, Head of Unit Climate Action and Earth Observation, DG RTD EC (Belgium);
  • Dr Jeremy Wilkinson, British Antarctic Survey (UK);
  • Dr Sebastian H. Mernild, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center;
  • Dr Margareta Johannsson, Lund University (Sweden);
  • Dr Dirk Notz, MPI Hamburg (Germany)

Meeting report

Download the summary of the presentations with all key messages here.