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What Is Bali Climate Change Conference All About?

Background Information On The Upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference - Bali, 3 - 14 December 2007

What Will Bali Be About?

When will the Bali conference be and who will attend?

The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2007 in Bali will start on Monday, 3 December and close on Friday, 14 December 2007. The Conference will be presided over by Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar, with support from the UN's Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), headed by Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer.

The first week will involve negotiations among the Parties at the level of high-ranking government officials on a wide range of issues. On Wednesday, 12 December, the high-level segment will start with addresses by the UN Secretary-General and the President of Indonesia. It is expected to be attended by 130 Environment Ministers.

Why is the Bali Conference of such importance?

This year's scientific report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made clear beyond doubt that climate change is a reality and can seriously harm the future development of our economies, societies and eco-systems worldwide. Immediate action is needed to be able to prevent the most severe impacts.

Since climate change is a global issue, tackling climate change and its impacts can only be successfully coordinated at the international level. The UN Framework on Climate Change presents the appropriate forum to do this. It has been expanded by the Kyoto Protocol which includes emission reduction commitments for developed countries over the period 2008–2012.

A new international climate change deal must be put in place in time to ensure that necessary action is undertaken immediately after 2012 when the current phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends. Therefore, comprehensive negotiations on a new climate deal need to begin without further delay. At the Bali Conference, Parties are expected to agree to the launch of this process.

What can the Bali conference deliver? (and what not)

The main goal of the Bali Conference is to deliver this necessary breakthrough and get negotiations going on a new international climate change agreement. The Bali Conference will not deliver a fully negotiated and agreed climate deal but is aimed to set the necessary wheels in motion. Parties need to agree on the key areas which the new climate agreement should cover, such as mitigation (including avoided deforestation), adaptation, technology and financing.

They also need to agree on when the talks and negotiations will conclude so that the new climate change deal can be ratified by national governments before the end of 2012. Furthermore, countries should decide on the organisational and procedural arrangements to get to this result.

Other important issues will be under negotiation in Bali including adaptation to climate change, the lauch of a Fund for adaptation, reducing emissions from deforestation, issues relating to the carbon market, and arrangements for a review of the Kyoto Protocol.


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