ANU experts comment on next round of global climate talks

Monday, November 6, 2017 — The next round of international climate talks, hosted by Fiji, will kick off on Monday 6 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany.  

This United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of the Parties will bring a renewed focus on the Pacific and the impacts of climate change on small island states.  

Since President’s Trump’s announcement that the US would pull out of the Paris Agreement on 1 June 2017, questions have been raised about the role of the US and whether other countries will step up as climate leaders.  

ANU experts are available to comment on prospects for the talks and have provided commentary on what they expect. They can be contacted directly, or through the media hotline on +61 2 6125 7979.

Professor Mark Howden
Director, ANU Climate Change Institute
T: +61 2 6125 7266

The next round of climate talks will occur against a background of both accelerating climate change impacts as well as accelerating progress in responses, particularly energy transitions.

The hosting of this COP by Fiji – the first time by a small island state – will bring a renewed focus on the Pacific and the impacts of climate change on small island states.

A key element of COP23 will be designing the Facilitative Dialogue, also called the Talanoa Dialogue, which will assess global progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and the additional steps needed to achieve these.

This COP will also progress the development of the Paris Agreement implementation guidelines – the ‘rulebook’ – including the transparency framework which covers the reporting and review obligations.

The meeting is anticipated to further highlight the constructive roles that the business sector, cities and civil society organisations are playing in developing timely and effective climate responses.

Since President’s Trump’s announcement on 1 June that the US would pull out of the Paris Agreement, there is likely to be some evolution and clarification of the role that the US will play and whether other countries will step up as climate leaders.     

Dr Christian Downie
ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance
T: +61 419 014 575

The international climate change negotiations in Bonn this week will be the first major meeting since President Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the historic Paris Agreement.

While recent comments from US officials suggest that it may be open to negotiations to remain in the agreement, European officials have been quick to dismiss this possibility.

The question now is who will lead global climate action in the absence of the US?

Australia should work with China and Europe to lead international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

China is now the world’s number one energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter. Should it combine forces with Europe it has the potential to lead the world and prevent other nations from following the US down the path of inaction.

Hannah Barrowman
PhD student, ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society
T: +61 414 861 406

COP23 is being considered as the ‘Islands COP’, with Fiji holding the COP presidency. This provides an opportunity for small island developing states to place their concerns at the forefront of international climate change discussions.

Importantly, it will place these small island states in a strategic position to influence international climate change policy namely the Paris Agreement’s roadmap, which is set to take centre stage.

The roadmap is of particular significance for small island states and other vulnerable nations as it outlines the steps needed to support the Agreement’s ambitious task and put the world on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial levels.

Studies on climate-change impacts released since the Paris Agreement in 2015 show dramatic implications for small island states and other vulnerable nations if global temperatures are to rise above the 1.5 degrees Celsius mark.


For media assistance, contact Will Wright from the ANU Media Team on +61 2 6125 7979 or at <>.