UN-backed climate change conference ends with package of new measures

18 December 2004

The tenth-anniversary United Nations Conference on Climate Change concluded today in Argentina after adopting a package of measures aimed at helping countries to prepare for climate change.

“The Buenos Aires conference marks ten years of action under the Climate Change Convention to address a problem that will be with us for decades if not centuries to come,” said Joke Waller Hunter, Executive Secretary of the Convention.

“This was a conference of hope, sparked by the momentum generated by the upcoming entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol on 16 February 2005,” she said. “The meeting succeeded in bringing adaptation into the mainstream of the intergovernmental process.”

The conference adopted the Buenos Aires Programme of Work on Adaptation and Response Measures, which includes further scientific assessments of vulnerabilities and options for adaptation, new workshops and technical papers on various aspects of climate change risk, and support for mainstreaming adaptation into sustainable development planning.

The conference also asked the Convention secretariat to convene a seminar of governmental experts next May in Bonn to continue discussions on the issue.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, Liechtenstein and Nigeria joined the Protocol during or just before the conference, bringing the total Kyoto membership up to 132 Parties. Several others announced that their ratification was underway.

Other highlights of the conference included the submissions by Brazil and China of their first national communications outlining their strategies for addressing climate change.

In addition to adopting formal decisions, the conference has evolved into a global forum for businesses, environmental groups and others among the thousands of participants to exchange ideas, make contacts and present new reports and findings. Some 60 exhibits and over 150 seminars and events were held on the sidelines of the intergovernmental talks.


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