High-level talks on a United Nations climate change treaty began today as environment ministers converged in Bonn to examine how to make operational the Kyoto Protocol, which contains binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The ministerial segment began this afternoon with a brief ceremony, and included a statement by Dutch Environment Minister Jan Pronk, who is President of this latest round of the resumed Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Senior officials, including some 85 ministers, are in Bonn in an effort to adopt a set of legally binding measures to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol will only enter into force after it has been ratified by at least 55 countries, including industrialized nations accounting for 55 per cent of their group's 1990 level of carbon dioxide emissions. Negotiations will continue throughout the weekend.
Earlier this morning, Mr. Pronk had asked the co-chairs of the four negotiating groups to present their results so far, and received summaries that set out the options and remaining questions each group faced. The four groups deal with the issues of finance and technology, flexibility mechanisms, land use and forestry, and procedures and mechanisms relating to compliance.