Negotiators at UN Climate Change Conference press forward on key issues

7 December 2007 – Climate change talks in Bali aimed at charting a roadmap for action moved ahead today with focused negotiations on the key elements aimed at guiding the process that will continue after the Conference ends.

Delegates, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and conference officials generally agreed that there were signs of progress in the discussions, although no firm decisions have yet been reached.

While Hans Verolme, Director of WWF, said that while the conference “should get on it,” there had been progress and that some countries had put forward a number of good proposals.

Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, reported that countries had held useful discussions on future action on climate change, particularly on the objectives and principles. He said there was a strong focus on providing incentives for developing countries to limit their growth of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as recognizing the efforts those countries were already making in that area.

Talks also continued on ways to provide developing countries with newer and cleaner technologies and on the issue of deforestation, where delegates have agreed to conduct work on methods on issues that include how to assess forest cover and emission reductions.

Trade ministers from more than 30 countries will be in Bali to discuss climate change issues this weekend and about two dozen finance ministers will meet early next week. It is the first time that these ministerial groups have organized meetings in connection with a climate change conference.

The meeting could help the development of a financial response to climate change, which Mr. de Boer said was essential for the new deal to tackle the problem. “It is the oil that will make the machinery run.”

He said that investments of around $20 trillion would be needed by 2030 to meet the world’s hunger for energy, with more than half of that demand coming from developing countries.

Developing countries, he added, would need incentives to alter the course of an “investment super tanker.” Those incentives would need to be agreed as part of post-2012 climate change deal under the auspices of the UN for which negotiations need to be launched at Bali.

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