Bonn Climate talks to focus on rules for cutting greenhouse gas emissions: UN

Bonn Climate talks to focus on rules for cutting greenhouse gas emissions: UN

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Ministers and diplomats will meet in Bonn over the next two weeks in an effort to finalize the rulebook for implementing the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the treaty's secretariat said today.

The negotiators also aim to adopt a package of measures to strengthen financial and technical cooperation between developed and developing countries on climate-friendly policies and technologies, according to the secretariat.

"After six years of arduous and complex negotiations, it is time to finalize the system that will guide global action on climate change for the next two decades and beyond," said Michael Zammit Cutajar, the treaty's Executive Secretary. "Once the rules are finalized, governments will be in a better position to decide in what political context to apply them," he added, expressing hope that States would ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

The Protocol, which sets legally binding targets and timetables for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, will only enter into force after it has been ratified by at least 55 countries, including industrialized countries accounting for 55 per cent of their group's 1990 level of CO2 emissions. The secretariat noted that this threshold would be particularly difficult to reach without the participation of the world's two largest economies: the United States, which accounts for 36.1 per cent and Japan, which is responsible for 8.5 per cent.

The latest round of talks, held in November at The Hague, was suspended after negotiators failed to reach agreement. To prepare for the next formal round, negotiators will attend a third and final set of informal consultations from 16 to 19 July in Bonn. The formal round will resume on the afternoon of 19 July.

According to the secretariat, key unresolved issues include financial support and technology transfer to help developing countries contribute to global action on climate change, the establishment of an international emissions trading system, rules for counting emissions reductions from carbon "sinks" such as forests, and a compliance regime.