Latest round of UN climate talks to start next week

Latest round of UN climate talks to start next week

A fresh round of United Nations-sponsored climate change talks, expected to draw 1,000 participants, will kick off next week in Bangkok, Thailand.

This five-day meeting seeks to push the so-called “Bali Roadmap” – agreed upon by 187 countries at the landmark UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, last December – forward. Under this guide, key issues during the upcoming negotiations will be adaptation, mitigation, the deployment of climate-friendly technology and financing.

In Bangkok, attendees are expected to lay out a work plan for the negotiations for a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012, as well as discuss how developed nations can curb their emissions.

“The challenge is to design a future agreement that will significantly step up action on adaptation, successfully halt the increase in global emissions within the next 10 to 15 years, dramatically cut back emissions by 2050, and do so in a way that is economically viable and politically equitable worldwide,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The negotiations process is scheduled to conclude next year at a major summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In a related development, the Kyoto Protocol’s Adaptation Fund Board wrapped up its inaugural meeting today in Bonn, Germany.

The Fund seeks to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries.

Characterizing it as “unique,” Mr. de Boer pointed out that it is “not reliant on donor funding or overseas development assistance. This is the climate regime beginning to become self-financing.”

At present, the Fund is backed by a 2 per cent levy on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows industrialized countries to generate credits through investment in emission reduction projects in developing countries. It is worth some €37 million currently, and its value is expected to surge to $80 million to $300 million in the 2008-2012 period.