Bon voyage from Bonn, meanwhile talk Talanoa


Climate change was again placed at the centre of global diplomacy over the past two weeks as diplomats gathered in Bonn, Germany, for the latest annual round of United Nations climate talks (1). The Conference of the Parties (COP) decided to convene a facilitative dialogue among Parties in 2018 and the Fijian presidency presented a robust design of next year’s stock take of the global efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals and inform the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the so-called Talanoa Dialogue (2).

Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. Talanoa fosters stability and inclusiveness in relation to dialogue, by creating a safe space which embraces mutual respect for a platform for decision making for a greater good (3). By using Talanoa to design the Facilitative Dialogue of 2018, the COP23 Presidency seeks to create an environment of “inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue.” Fiji hopes that Talanoa will allow Parties to hear one another’s concerns, especially for developed countries to listen to the needs, opinions and experiences of developing countries. If so, the process of the Facilitative Dialogue could give Parties the opportunity to build empathy by identifying climate action in areas that have not been covered by the NDCs, taking into account the differentiation between developed and developing countries (4). Through the dialogue, nations will verify the current situation surrounding global emission cuts, and will be encouraged to raise their reduction targets. That's to keep a rise of global temperatures this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (5).

Besides giving details of the 'Talanoa Dialogue' process, the COP final decision clearly outlined what all the rich nations need to do as far as their pre-2020 actions (pre-2020 implementation and ambition) under the Kyoto Protocol (KP) are concerned. It had been a crucial demand of developing countries. The pre-2020 actions refer to existing obligations of only rich nations to take mitigation (emission cut) actions under the KP whereas the post-2020 actions are meant for all countries as per their NDCs under the Paris deal (6). Thus, in addition to the commitment to discuss how to scale up climate action, countries also made modest progress in developing a negotiating text for “the Paris Rulebook” comprising the guidelines needed for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Much work remains to be done as the rules are due to be finalized next year in time for adoption at the next COP in 2018 (7).

However, India at COP 23 stated that India’s traditional wisdom to tackle climate change can be a “beacon of light” (8). India has taken determined targets in its NDC and is on a path for achieving those . It has been ambitious in its climate change actions and expects other countries also to be ambitious based on their historical responsibility on the basis of “Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities”. It also believes that contribution of citizens, sustainable lifestyles and climate justice provides an alternative means to address climate change which must be rigorously pursued (9).

Thus, it has been observed that, COP23 at Bonn has fetched a good results for developing countries, as the developed nations at last agreed to budge on the issues of their pre 2020 actions as well as world gets a new platform to discuss the issue by making countries putting in place a road map for Talanoa dialogue (10). Let us, “Bon voyage from Bonn, meanwhile talk Talanoa”.


Timperley, J. (2017). COP 23: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Bonn. Carbon Brief.

Greenpeace (2017). Taking stock of the Pacific COP, the road to enhanced climate ambition.

UNFCCC (2017). 2018 Talanoa dialogue (2-10 Facilitative dialogue). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bonn, Germany.

Maria, P. (2017). From Talanoa to the 2018 facilitative dialogue.Vermont Law School Blog.

NHK World (2017). Talanoa dialogue to speed up climate talks. Japan Broadcasting Corporation.

Mohan, V (2017). Global warming: Bonn climate negotiations conclude: Nations prepare road-map for 'Talanoa Dialogue'. 18-Nov 2017 Economic Times.

CAN Europe (2017). COP23 delivers a plan for increasing climate ambition. Climate Action Network Europe.

Live mint (2018). Climate change result of unsustainable lifestyle: India.

PIB (2017). Environment Minister’s address at the Inauguration of India Pavilion at COP-23 . Press Information Bureau, (Ministry of Environment and Forest) Government of India.

Nand, S (2017). COP23: The Talanoa dialogue process and progress on pre-2020 cliamte actions. Jargan Josh.


Contact: A Saleem Khan, Senior Scientist, Climate Change, MSSRF