Children are seen during climate march prior to the opening session of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference 2017, hosted by Fiji but held in Bonn, in World Conference Center Bonn, Germany, November 6, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
Bonn (People's Daily) - The annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), this year held in Bonn, Germany, hit the halfway mark today and so far attendees have remained optimistic. The Fiji government was chosen to preside over this year’s conference and will conclude on November 17.
The COP23 Chinese delegation, led by Chen Zhihua, so far has voiced concern on behalf of smaller nations.
"If we do not respect decisions that we have made, then how can we build trust among the parties?" said Chen Zhihua, Executive Director of the National Development and Reform Commission. Chen’s comments emerged when asked about the financial promises made by wealthier nations on the idea of revisiting goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Chen also felt that there should be some sort of written text reflecting, equality and CBDR (common but differentiated responsibilities) for next year’s COP24.
"There is concrete work on progress in negotiations everywhere," said Jochen Flasbarth, Germany’s State Secretary for the Environment.
“The Americans behave unobtrusively, rather with a slightly run down profile," Flasbarth said when commenting on the appearance of the US delegation.
"The first week was a constructive negotiation, and the US delegation has held back and, unlike someone fears, has not hindered negotiations," said Greenpeace climate expert Karsten Smid.
Ann Kathrin Schneider of the German Federal Government for the Environment and Nature Conservation confirmed, "We are making progress, for example, with concrete considerations on how the implementation of the Paris Agreement should be reviewed."
Senior Global Policy Advisor to Greenpeace declared, "The issue of pre-2020 is not a whether question, it is a ‘how’ question. We need near-term ambition and we need it now. In the next few days, the consultation on this issue should focus on tangible areas that could help bring down emissions."
French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to attend before the conference ends next week.