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UN Climate Change Conference Concludes

Bonn UN Climate Change Conference Concludes with Calls to Step up Pace of Negotiations Leading up to 2009 Copenhagen Agreement

(Bonn, 13 June 2008) – The latest round of UN-sponsored global climate change negotiations concluded Friday in Bonn, Germany with calls to step up the pace of negotiations in the run-up to a crucial climate change summit next year.

The meeting, which assembled more than 2,000 participants from 170 countries, constituted the second major session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) this year on a strengthened and effective international climate change deal. The deal is to be clinched in December 2009 in Copenhagen.

“We now have a clearer understanding among governments on what countries would ultimately like to see written into a long-term agreement to address climate change,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “But with a little more than a year to go to Copenhagen, the challenge to come to that agreement remains daunting,” he added.

Three workshops on adaptation, finance and technology took place, designed to deepen the understanding of the issues related to the building blocks of the Copenhagen agreement.

“Parties have made the all-important transition from discussions and are entering the negotiating phase – this is important to move the negotiating process forward,” said Luiz Figueiredo Machado, Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention. “But what is required are more targeted proposals in the next sessions,” he added.

In Bonn, talks on further commitments for Parties to the Kyoto Protocol also continued. The objective of these negotiations was to clarify tools and identify options regarding the rules available to industrialised countries under the Kyoto Protocol to reach their emission reduction targets beyond the first phase of the Protocol in 2012. Countries for example considered the possible broadening of the coverage of greenhouse gases to gases such as perfluoropolyethers, along with sectors and source categories.

“We have made some good progress under the Kyoto Protocol negotiations here in Bonn,” said Harald Dovland, Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol. “But the pace was slow and difficult. I do feel we need a completely new spirit of cooperation from here, because if we continue in this mode of work, I fear we will not succeed in achieving the goals set in the work programme,” he added.

In addition to the two working groups explicitly designed to negotiate the Copenhagen deal, ongoing work under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol was taken forward.

Parties agreed that practical technology transfer efforts will be scaled up in particular for Africa, small island independent states and least developed countries. This will include collaborative research and development of technologies and technology needs assessments. Parties also agreed to develop performance indicators to monitor and evaluate progress on work on technology transfer. With regard to adaptation, Parties agreed conclusions on activities that can be initiated immediately, including on streamlining access to funding

“This is good news for adaptation agenda, which is really moving forward,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer. “And this is critical for developing countries, which urgently need assistance to cope with increasing climate change impacts,” he said. “But what is ultimately required is a clever financial architecture to generate the money developing countries will need to green their economies and adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change.”

Two further rounds of UN-sponsored global climate change negotiations will take place this year: the first in Accra, Ghana (21-27 August) and the second at UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland (1-12 December). A further series of major UNFCCC negotiating sessions are planned for 2009, culminating at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.


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