DDL Student researchers were on the ground at the UNFCCC conference this month, furthering our research about how non-state actors can participate in climate action


Earlier this month, DDL student researchers Katherine Burley (PhD’26)  and Christian Chung (BS’24)  traveled alongside DDL director Angel Hsu to Bonn, Germany for the annual Bonn Climate Conference

Katherine, a Ph.D. student, researcher for DDL, and 2023 Duke Energy Data Analytics Ph.D. Student Fellow, is currently working on our Global Climate Action project. Christian, an undergraduate student, assists with the Net Zero Tracker and is researching the role of data in accountability mechanisms for non-state actors.

Katherine and Christian attended a range of events that focused on the role of subnational governments and private actors in contributing to global climate change mitigation, adaptation and financing efforts. They participated in the final Technical Dialogues for the Global Stocktake, which completed its consultative work in Bonn and will now move to synthesize inputs from the past year. 

Check out Christian and Katherine’s daily blog during their week at Bonn:

Day 1 – Monday, June 5th


I spent the majority of my time today engaging with the UNFCCC’s recognized youth constituency, YOUNGO. To nobody’s surprise, young people were the loudest voices in the room advocating for real change.


The first day of SB58 truly set the tone for what I think to be one of the most pressing series of climate and environmental negotiations to date! Most conversations detailed concerns regarding the Global Stocktake (GST) and its merit for global decision-making and future developments. There is much more work to be done in this space to increase accurate climate progress reporting for developing nations, small island states, and indigenous communities. 


I am excited for the remainder of my time here in Bonn and cannot wait to see what’s in store when GST Technical Dialogues commence on Tuesday!




Day 2 – Tuesday, June 6th


The GST Technical Dialogues began today, starting with the World Café! There was so much to learn from the diverse groups of participants; fortunately, there was talk of developing an enhanced accountability framework for non-state actors!


It was amazing to hear such a variety of perspectives on how to promote accountability of actions from non-party stakeholders at today’s GST Technical Dialogues! 


Here is Christian contributing to the round table discussion during the Global Stocktake TD World Cafe event!

Day 3 – Wednesday, June 7th


I started the day by attending a U.S. bilateral meeting with the head negotiator and the rest of his team. It was a great experience, getting to hear straight from the source about the United States’ position on this year’s negotiation.


I went to a couple of side events that highlighted the role of non-party stakeholders in meeting climate goals. I also enjoyed getting to meet with the CAD2.0 community and the new Global Climate Action Portal team during the meeting in the UNFCCC offices.

Day 4 – Thursday, June 8th


In the morning, I attended the YOUNGO COP28 Youth Stocktake event. We discussed the barriers that prevent youth from engaging with UNFCCC processes, as well as ways to amplify youth participation by engaging the COP28 Presidency. Later in the day, I attended the ELEVATE workshop, where I heard from experts about ongoing projects that utilize digital platforms to inform climate action and policy.



Today, I attended a side event about how earth observation data can be used in the global stocktake. Then, I joined the ELEVATE workshop, where we heard about projects like the NCI Climate Policy Database and the ENGAGE project that evaluates the feasibility of various climate mitigation scenarios (under the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency).

Day 5 – Friday, June 9th


I attended the GST Technical Dialogue regarding Means of Implantation and Finance. At the meeting, the Parties discussed their interests and concerns regarding the final GST report. They also discussed the report’s objective of providing guidance on implementing and funding climate mitigation and adaptation projects.



I attended the implementation and support round table on issues related to finance, technology, and capacity building and a cool side event from the UNFCCC Transparency Division about the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF), where the role of various non-party stakeholders in contributing to the ETF. In the evening, I went to the Friends of the GST happy hour/reception hosted by Climate Works. The reception was at a beautiful beer garden in a park with a balloon festival!

Day 6 – Saturday, June 10th



I attended the integrated and holistic approaches round table session and then had dinner with several members of the IKEA team!

Day 7 – Sunday, June 11th


We had a fabulous annual meeting with our IKEA team partners, where we reviewed past work and planned for the future of the Global Climate Action project! Although we all work on non-state action, our project covers a really impressive range of topics (mitigation, adaptation, climate data) and actors (cities, regions, companies, sectors, cooperative initiatives). It was exciting to meet many of the team members I’ve worked with for the past two years, in person.

Debriefing SB58: the Annual Bonn Climate Conference

Our DDL team members had a great time meeting team members in-person, attending side events about the state of global climate action and climate data, and networking with other climate policy professionals. 

We can’t wait to see how our team members will take what they learned from Bonn, Germany, back into our work here at DDL.