Bonn Climate Negotiations: Key Events and Dissatisfaction Ahead of COP29

Governments recently gathered in Bonn for climate negotiations, preparing for COP29. WECF and the partners from the Women and Gender Constituency advocated strongly for more progressive language.

The decision-making process in Bonn has been slow, with little discussion on key issues. Recent accusations against Azerbaijan, the host of COP29, highlight the need for transparency and inclusivity. Civil society, including WECF, expressed concerns about COP29 and the ongoing negotiations. We urgently need more progressive commitments.


The Women & Gender Constituency demands ambition

On the first day of SB, Valeria Peláez Cardona delivered a powerful speech on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC). She called on governments to commit to an ambitious new climate finance goal, the ‘New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG)’. She emphasized the need for increased, predictable funding that centers on human rights and gender-transformative climate actions, essential for a just transition founded on principles of care, racial, and intergenerational justice, see video.

 Photo showing Valeria Peláez Cardona giving a statement


Need for strong language on fossil fuels

Discussions on the Global Stock Take (GST) must include strong language on phasing out fossil fuels, tripling renewable energy, and doubling energy efficiency. However, debates stalled over annual assessment criteria, blocking discussions on fair shares, and the contributions of local communities, women, gender-diverse individuals, and indigenous peoples.


Feminism is needed for a Just Transition

In SB60 negotiations on the ‘Just Transition Work Program,’ the WGC expressed disappointment. Delaying the draft until COP29 in Baku erases progress from COP28. The current draft lacks a reliable timeframe, transparency, and accountability. This move reflects a troubling trend of backtracking rather than advancing critical climate justice initiatives. It also overlooks international cooperation. A gender-transformative approach is crucial, integrating care work and acknowledging the contributions of women and gender-diverse people.


Demanding better climate finance

Climate finance needs to increase from billions to trillions for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage from the Global North to the Global South. We need direct, equitable, and gender-responsive finance, but countries have been reluctant to commit to public funding or grants. Discussions also focused on linking the Technology Mechanism and Financial Mechanism, and we advocated for gender and indigenous knowledge integration to ensure frontline communities can access and develop climate solutions.


Gender negotiations moving painfully slow

Before the gender negotiations, we joined a 3-day workshop to review the Gender Action Plan (GAP)’s progress and plan for the future. Despite this, negotiations on a renewed Lima Work Programme on Gender quickly became mired in procedural and technical issues. The Women and Gender Constituency issued a statement urging Parties to act decisively in the final days of SB60. Rebecca Heuvelmans emphasized: “Seize the opportunity to stand next to those bearing the brunt of the climate crisis by working collaboratively towards a strong LWP and GAP”. Negotiations will continue at COP29 in Baku, with much work needed to ensure a strong and ambitious LWP and GAP. To read more about the Women and Gender Constituency’s key reflections and demands for a new LWP and GAP, have a look at their official submission.


Meeting the new high-level champion from Azerbaijan 

The WGC met with the High-Level Climate Champions from UAE and Azerbaijan. WECF’s director Sascha Gabizon highlighted WECF’s gender climate training in the Caucasus and the importance of prioritizing gender across all negotiation streams. Mishy Singano, WGC’s lead policy coordinator, urged COP29 to focus not just on finance but also gender, advocating for gender equality to be a top priority at the highest level.


ACTIONS for feminist and human rights priorities  

Not only in the negotiation rooms but also in the hallways and outside the venue, we spoke up for gender and climate justice, engaging in actions with the Women and Gender Constituency and other constituencies. 

Say no to Dangerous Distractions

Together with environmental action groups and the Indigenous Peoples and Youth constituency, we called out the ‘false solutions’ promoted by corporate interests at the climate negotiations. Industrial biomass plantations, which grab land from communities and harm biodiversity, are a dangerous distraction. We highlighted the myths about nuclear energy, highlighting its non-green nature and the injustices it creates. Uranium mining, primarily on indigenous lands, harms local communities’ health, water, and environment. Nuclear energy is too slow, expensive, and risky. The same funds invested in renewables offer immediate, lower-cost solutions without the threat of radioactive pollution. We called for real solutions, advocating for ‘real zero’ instead of ‘net zero’.

Photo showing action against nuclear energy inside Bonn conference center

Defund Genocide 

Activists, youth, coalitions, and constituencies protested outside the UN negotiations in the protest “Defund Genocide – Kick Big Polluters Out”. Fossil fuels not only fuel the climate crisis but also militarism and violence. We stood in solidarity with people in Palestine, Congo, and Sudan, highlighting the link between fossil fuels and conflict. Have a look at the new issue brief by the Peace and Demilitarization working group hosted by the Women and Gender Constituency. 

Human Rights and Climate Justice Action 

The action alerted about shrinking civic space and human rights violations against environmental and human rights defenders. Testimonies from imprisoned activists highlighted the need to #FreeThemAll. Civil society organizations (CSOs) play a crucial role in ensuring climate and gender policies are implemented effectively. However, shrinking space for CSOs undermines these efforts. In the Caucasus and beyond, CSOs fill the gap, providing services to those most affected by climate change and gender inequality. Their work remains vital for achieving climate and gender justice.

Photo showing Human Rights Action