Eleventh Hour: The state of play on key negotiation issues in the lead-up to COP28

By the Branch and Agam Agenda   


Delegates from more than 100 countries met in Bonn, Germany last month to prepare for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai later this year. 

The Bonn climate talks aimed to prepare the ground for the upcoming COP, including the adoption of an official agenda that will be the basis for key decision points.

This year’s conference was held against the backdrop of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, underscoring once more the urgent need for enhanced and urgent climate action.

We summarized developments arising from the Bonn climate talks that will shape the state of play on key negotiation points in COP28.

Fossil fuel phaseout

Marking his strongest pronouncement yet on the future of coal, oil, and gas in a climate-secure world, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber admitted during the Bonn climate talks that the phasedown of fossil fuels is inevitable.

The shift in rhetoric was welcome news. But whether the Dubai COP will deliver on a commitment towards an equitable and just phaseout of fossil fuels still hangs in the balance.

Climate finance

The Bonn climate talks brought to light the lack of trust between developed and developing countries on the delivery of finance needed to pay for climate action.

Developing countries said they will only accept the inclusion of the mitigation ambition and implementation work programme (MWP) in the official COP28 agenda if an item on “urgently scaling up financial support from developed country parties” is also added.

Developed countered, arguing that finance is already part of other agenda items and would be within MWP.

Parties did not reach an agreement on the MWP but produced an “informal note” reflecting various viewpoints on a work programme on just transition pathways.

New climate finance target

Also making headway during the Bonn conference are the technical dialogues on the post-2025 New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) mandated by the Paris Agreement.

The NCQG the post-2025 climate finance target set to be finalized by 2024, will replace the unfulfilled US$100 billion per year target funding to assist developing countries in emissions reduction and resilience building.

Experts underscored that the NCQG will not be able to unlock the trillions of dollars needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement without a reform of the international financial system.

Loss and damage

Meetings tasked to set up the loss and damage fund also indicated a clear division between developed and developing countries.

Developing countries are seeking a standalone fund, independent of all existing climate finance mechanisms. Developed countries showed a tepid response to the idea, emphasizing the need to avoid duplication and prioritize effective disbursement.

More meetings are scheduled this year before the committee makes recommendations for consideration and adoption by COP28.

Moreover, parties could not agree on recommending a host for the Santiago Network on loss and damage secretariat.

The Santiago Network was officially established at COP25 to provide technical assistance for “averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage in developing countries.”

Global stocktake

The Global Stocktake (GST) assesses the collective progress in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement

Discussions at Bonn focused on drafting the indicative framework for the forthcoming decision on the results of the first GST and revealed contentions on whether the process should emphasize the historical responsibility of the developed world in causing climate change and its impacts. 

The first GST will culminate at COP28, where opportunities and challenges for enhancing action in the light of equity and the best available science will be presented.

Finding a common ground

Issues of justice and equity, both current and historical, are increasingly taking up space in climate negotiations.

Developed countries’ reluctance to confront their historical responsibility for the climate crisis continues to impact our shared futures.

But there is still time to find common ground. Amplifying the voices of communities at the forefront of the climate crisis is essential for to COP28 deliver an equitable path to a 1.5˚C future.


In line with our call to #RewriteCOP, we are calling for submissions of creative contributions! Here are the mechanics:

  1. Take a look at our summary of the Bonn Climate Change Conference outcomes.
  2. Craft a creative response (poem, painting, or other visual artwork) to the prompt, On the hills of East of France, and reflect on how histories have shaped our world.
  3. Submit your creation via email at philippines@climatereality.com.
  4. You can also post your work on your social media accounts. Don’t forget to tag @agamagenda and @climaterealityph.



This article is a collaborative piece of The Climate Reality Project Philippines and the Agam Agenda and is part of its RewriteCOP campaign.

RewriteCOP invites everyone to intervene in policy- and decision-making on climate solutions, through storytelling, art, and creative expression that are vital in tackling the crisis.


This article was originally published on The Climate Reality Project Philippines’ weekly column for the Manila Bulletin called Eleventh Hour.

This column serves a digital space to discuss our organization’s work on supporting the country’s just transition into a clean, affordable, and self-sufficient energy system; advancing sustainable urban mobility to highlight the issues of equity and democracy; and raising public awareness about the need to phase out single-use plastics. It also serves as a platform for Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders to share your stories, promote your climate initiatives, and provide critical insights to issues that matter to climate action, environmental protection, and sustainable development.