Negotiators in talks on core climate change issues at UN Conference
Special negotiating groups created at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali are discussing the elements of a future roadmap for tackling the problem, technology transfer, deforestation and practical action on adaptation strategies for countries coping with adverse effects.
Several countries, including Brazil – on behalf of the caucus of developing countries known as the “Group of 77” – as well as China, the United States, Japan and the European Union, have now put forward various proposals for developing the roadmap for a way forward after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol regime for cutting greenhouse gas emissions will expire, according to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Earlier today, he said it was “encouraging” that many countries have come prepared to Bali with their own proposals on how the process should move forward.
Also today, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formally presented to the Conference. The report warns that left unchecked, climate change could have catastrophic impacts.
Mr. de Boer said there had been a suggestion that the IPCC should be asked to update these reports in 2009, the year when future negotiations on a post-2012 climate change deal are expected to conclude. IPCC practice has been to prepare an assessment about every five years.
Countries are looking at the possibility of starting a round of pilot projects to reduce deforestation, which is claiming 13 million hectares each year, Mr. de Boer said.
On the talks on technology transfer, he welcomed the fact that the private sector is involved in offering solutions on the way forward.
Responding to press questions on whether Bali would yield a concrete reduction in targets, de Boer said industrialized countries needed to continue to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and there was agreement that emissions needed to be reduced in the range of 25 - 40 per cent against 1990 levels to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.
At the same time, he said it would be more constructive for the parties to agree on the necessary tools for reaching emission reductions instead of becoming bogged down in discussions over targets in Bali.
Meanwhile, the UN Climate Change Convention, the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced a new project to bring larger numbers of clean development projects to Africa. Building on a framework launched by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan last year in Nairobi, the new projects aim to make clean investment opportunities in Africa more attractive.