Discover Germany, Issue 56, November 2017

Page 94

Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Feature

Bonn:

The centre of climate change conferences Under the presidency of the government of Fiji, the UN Climate Change Conference 2017 (COP 23) will take place in Bonn from 6 to 17 November. Politicians, diplomats, and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from all over the world will gather on the United Nations Campus on the banks of the Rhine to discuss the global dangers posed by climate change. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

The earth is heating up. Since records began on a global scale in 1880, temperatures have risen by around one degree Celsius. As a consequence, heat waves are becoming more frequent, and much of the earth’s glaciers have started to melt, leading to rising sea levels. Small insular states like Fiji are the ones who already suffer from severe consequences of global warming: Rising sea levels force villages to relocate, while unpredictable storms carve paths of destruction and warming seas lead to changing underwater populations. At the upcoming 23rd Conference of the Parties (in short: COP 23) to the Unit94  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

ed Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the participating nations therefore aim to solve the climate crisis in time by pushing on the Paris Agreement that was adopted two years ago. Back then, nearly 200 nations committed to reducing emissions in order to prevent average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Presiding the COP 23, the government of Fiji will represent all Small Island Developing States, giving special attention to efforts to fight and also adapt to climate change. In addition, delegates will discuss ways to de-

velop resilience to the impacts of this global challenge. Since the insular state located in the South Pacific Ocean does not have the capacity to arrange the conference as well as additional events where about 20,000 to 25,000 participants will attend, the sessions of the COP 23 will take place at the seat of the secretariat in Bonn. Therefore, representatives of the 197 parties of the UNFCCC will head to Bonn. Home to 19 UN institutions After 1999 and 2001, it will be the third time that the former capital of West Germany hosts a UN Climate Change Conference. Being home to 19 United Nations institutions with about 1,000 employees, there are also many international institutions and NGOs that have settled here. In 2006, most of these UN institutions officially moved to the former building for the German members of parliament, the so-called ‘Langer Eugen’, and the surrounding buildings, forming today’s UN Campus. While Fiji