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Understanding the Key Outcomes of SB60: Implications for African Countries

Climate diplomats have wrapped up two weeks of intense negotiations in Bonn, Germany, focusing on global efforts to cut emissions and protect against climate hazards.
Financial Disputes Dominate

A major point of contention was the funding required to address climate change, particularly for developing countries. Developed and developing nations struggled over who should provide the necessary trillions of dollars, overshadowing discussions on various issues, including climate adaptation and the outcomes from last year’s “stocktake” in Dubai.

Looking Ahead to COP29

Nations are expected to agree on a new global climate finance goal at COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, which will take effect after 2025. However, progress on this and technical issues concerning “Article 6” carbon markets was limited in Bonn, suggesting challenging months ahead.

Frustration Over Ambition

Despite the first-ever COP agreement to curb fossil fuels last year in Dubai, many delegates in Bonn expressed frustration over the lack of progress in ramping up global climate ambition.

Key Outcomes and Disputes at SB60

Climate Finance

Climate finance was a top priority in Bonn, especially with the urgent need to agree on a new global climate finance goal in Baku. Rich nations have been cutting aid budgets, citing fiscal pressures, while developing countries face debt challenges that hinder their climate action. Developing countries argue they need financial support from developed nations to meet their climate targets.

Current Financial Commitments

Developed countries are obliged under the Paris Agreement to provide climate finance, primarily through foreign aid budgets. However, they have fallen short on commitments, particularly missing the $100 billion annual target pledged by 2020. Although recent data suggests they exceeded this goal in 2022, activists and negotiators from the global south dispute these figures, citing reliance on loans and relabeled development aid.

New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG)

By COP29, all parties must agree on a new collective quantified goal to guide climate finance provision, replacing the $100 billion target post-2025. However, progress on the NCQG has been slow, with disagreements on the amount, providers, recipients, and types of funds to be included.

Dividing Lines

The main disputes are between developed countries obliged to provide finance and developing countries eligible to receive it. Country groupings have different priorities, complicating negotiations. The focus of finance talks in Bonn was an “ad hoc work programme” aimed at creating a negotiation basis for Baku.

Progress and Challenges

Throughout the two weeks, multiple sessions and dialogues were held, but significant differences remained. Developed countries expressed frustration over the lack of accommodation for their inputs, particularly concerning the “quantum” of climate finance.

Loss and Damage

Loss and damage discussions have gained prominence in recent years, with the establishment of a fund to help developing countries. Despite this, it was less central in Bonn. Developing countries insist on a separate “window” for loss and damage finance within the NCQG, but developed countries argue this is beyond the NCQG’s mandate.


Adaptation was a key focus, with tensions revolving around climate finance. The UAE-Belém work programme on adaptation indicators and national adaptation plans (NAPs) were major discussion points. Finance remains a critical issue, with developing countries stressing the need for investment in adaptation.


The Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) saw disagreements over procedural versus substantive outcomes. The MWP, adopted at COP27, focuses on mitigation efforts until 2026. In Bonn, discussions on integrating global stocktake outcomes into the MWP were contentious, with developed and developing countries diverging on the programme’s mandate.

Just Transition

Progress in the Just Transition Work Programme (JTWP) was stalled by familiar challenges. Developed countries view it as job-focused, while developing countries argue for a broader scope. Disagreements on the work plan and modalities persisted, with a procedural compromise reached in the end.

Article 6

Article 6 carbon markets remain contentious, with unresolved technical issues. Talks in Bonn focused on crunch issues to prepare for COP29. There was some progress, particularly on emissions avoidance and confidentiality, but significant challenges remain.

Global Stocktake, NDCs, and Ambition

The global stocktake outcomes from COP28 set ambitious targets, but following up on these decisions proved contentious in Bonn. Developed countries emphasized emissions cuts, while developing countries focused on finance. The upcoming deadline for new climate plans (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement adds urgency to these discussions.

Road to COP29

With Bonn concluded, attention turns to COP29 in Azerbaijan. The focus will remain on finance, with high geopolitical tensions and upcoming elections potentially affecting climate finance plans. The COP presidencies’ “Troika” will continue efforts to lay the groundwork for successful negotiations in Baku.

AACJ Partners’ concerns

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) expressed deep disappointment and concern over the outcomes of SB60 in Bonn. Despite high hopes for honest and impactful negotiations, the talks were marred by delays and diversion tactics, particularly around the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) and climate finance. PACJA underscored the urgency of addressing the priorities of frontline communities, especially in Africa, emphasizing the need for substantial public finance for adaptation, loss and damage, and the implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). The alliance called for a firm commitment from developed countries to fulfill their financial obligations and rejects any attempts to privatize climate finance or shift the burden to developing nations. PACJA also stresses the importance of inclusivity and procedural justice, highlighting the visa challenges faced by African delegates. As we look toward COP29 in Baku, PACJA urges all parties to unite in ensuring climate finance remains a central theme and that the needs of vulnerable communities are adequately addressed.

Implications for African Countries

Climate Finance and Development

For African countries, the outcomes of SB60 highlight the urgent need for substantial financial support to address climate change. African nations, many of which are among the most vulnerable to climate impacts, rely heavily on promised funds to implement climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. The slow progress and financial disputes in Bonn underscore the challenges ahead in securing these necessary resources. Without adequate finance, African countries may struggle to meet their climate targets and protect their populations from increasing climate hazards.

Financial Commitments and Realities

The failure of developed countries to meet their financial commitments, such as the $100 billion annual target, severely hampers the ability of African nations to tackle climate change effectively. While some progress has been made, the reliance on loans and relabeled aid instead of direct grants exacerbates the financial burden on African countries, many of which are already struggling with debt. This financial shortfall limits their capacity to invest in essential climate resilience and adaptation projects.

Loss and Damage

The limited focus on loss and damage in Bonn is a concern for African countries, which often face the brunt of climate-induced disasters. The demand for a separate window for loss and damage finance reflects the need for dedicated funds to address the immediate and long-term impacts of climate change. Ensuring that loss and damage finance is a key component of the new global climate finance goal will be crucial for African nations.

Addressing Climate Impacts

African countries are on the frontline of climate change, experiencing severe droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events. The establishment of a loss and damage fund at COP28 was a significant step forward, but the lack of emphasis on this issue in Bonn indicates the need for continued advocacy. African negotiators must push for a formal target for loss and damage finance within the NCQG to ensure sufficient resources are allocated to address these devastating impacts.

Adaptation Efforts

Adaptation remains a critical issue for African countries, which need significant investment to build resilience against climate impacts. The discussions in Bonn highlighted the ongoing struggle to secure adequate adaptation finance. African nations must continue to advocate for increased and reliable funding to implement national adaptation plans and support vulnerable communities.

National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)

African countries have been developing National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to prepare for climate impacts, but the process has been hampered by insufficient funding. The outcome of the Bonn discussions underscores the need for more financial support from developed countries to not only create these plans but also to implement them effectively. Without adequate adaptation finance, African countries risk facing severe economic and social disruptions from climate change.

Mitigation Ambitions

African countries are in a unique position where they need to balance development goals with climate mitigation efforts. The contentious discussions in Bonn around the Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) highlight the need for a fair approach that considers the developmental needs of African nations while addressing global emission reduction targets. Ensuring that mitigation efforts do not hinder economic growth is vital for the continent.

Balancing Development and Emission Reductions

The global stocktake from COP28 calls for ambitious actions, including transitioning away from fossil fuels. For many African countries, this transition must be balanced with the need for economic development and poverty reduction. African negotiators should advocate for support in developing renewable energy sources and other low-carbon technologies that can drive sustainable growth while contributing to global emission reduction goals.

Just Transition

The Just Transition Work Programme (JTWP) is particularly relevant for African countries as they transition to low-carbon economies. The stalled progress in Bonn suggests that more work is needed to ensure that just transition strategies are inclusive and consider the socio-economic realities of African nations. Developing a comprehensive work plan that addresses job creation, social justice, and environmental sustainability is essential.

Inclusive and Equitable Transition

For African countries, a just transition means ensuring that the move towards a green economy does not leave vulnerable communities behind. This includes creating new job opportunities in renewable energy sectors, ensuring social protection for those affected by the transition, and involving local communities in decision-making processes. The outcomes of the Bonn negotiations highlight the need for continued advocacy to ensure that these aspects are integral to the JTWP.

Future Negotiations and Advocacy

Looking ahead to COP29, African countries must remain active in negotiations to ensure their priorities are addressed. The upcoming discussions in Baku will be critical in finalizing the new climate finance goal and addressing unresolved issues from Bonn. African negotiators need to push for equitable solutions that provide adequate finance, support adaptation, and ensure a just transition.

Building Strong Alliances

African countries should continue to build alliances with other developing nations to strengthen their negotiating position. By presenting a united front, they can more effectively advocate for their needs and ensure that the outcomes of COP29 reflect the realities and challenges faced by the African continent. Collaboration with global south partners can also help in sharing best practices and mobilizing additional resources for climate action.

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