Bonn UN Climate Change meeting delivers progress on key issues25 May 2012
Meeting in Bonn for the first time after the historic UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, governments made progress in ensuring that this year’s conference in Doha, at the end of 2012, can take the next essential steps towards meeting the long-term challenge of climate change.
Progress was made notably in the areas of preparing for the amendment of the Kyoto Protocol; on building the institutions and infrastructure that can benefit the poor and most vulnerable in developing countries; and on paving the way for a new global climate agreement.
“Work at this session has been productive. Countries can now press on to ensure elements are in place to adopt the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. I am pleased to say that the Bonn meeting produced more clarity on the Protocols’s technical and legal details and options to enable a smooth transition between the two commitment periods of the protocol,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said.
Decisions scheduled to be taken in Doha include whether the second commitment period will be for 5 or 8 years and on the precise emission reduction commitments of industrialised countries that have obligations under the Protocol.
In terms of providing support to developing countries to adapt to climate change and to build their own sustainable energy futures, the Bonn meeting resulted in a raft of agreements relating to technology, finance and capacity-building (see below for details), which are also set to be adopted in Doha.
Meanwhile, the new ADP negotiation (the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) was launched and its agenda agreed. The ADP is tasked to adopt a new global climate agreement by 2015, to take effect from 2020, and also to find ways to raise global ambition to act on climate change before 2020.
“The agenda guarantees that attention is given both to the 2015 agreement, as well as to efforts to raise ambition to curb greenhouse gases up to 2020. This is a very important component of the Durban Platform and a response to what science is telling us on a repeated basis, namely that current mitigation efforts are not sufficient,” said Ms. Figueres.
The UN’s top climate change official noted that this week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the door to avoiding a maximum 2 degrees Celsius global average temperature rise is about to close. The IEA noted that greenhouse gas emissions have reached a record high and would need to peak no later than 2017 for the world to have half a chance of staying below the 2 degrees Celsius rise.
Ms. Figueres called on governments to continue intensive, informal work on detailed substantive issues before the Doha meeting.
“Ministers can also take every opportunity with their governments and each other to resolve the outstanding high-level political issues that will deliver the next, successful step, in Doha” she said.
Key areas where progress was made on implementation:
Climate Technology Centre
Governments confirmed the ranking of three shortlisted hosts for the Climate Technology Center (CTC), with a UNEP-led consortium leading. The Climate Technology Centre, along with its associated Network, is the implementing arm of the UNFCCC’s Technology Mechanism established by the Cancun Agreements in 2010. This means that the UN Climate Change Secretariat can start work immediately to help establish the CTC.
Green Climate Fund
Progress was also made on the Green Climate Fund, envisioned as a major global channel for long-term financial support to help developing countries in the urgent task of building their own sustainable and climate-resilient futures. During the Bonn meeting, most nominations to the Board of the Green Climate Fund were received and those outstanding are expected soon. Governments say they want a first Board meeting to go ahead at end June/beginning July, which would allow for the Fund to become operational in 2013.
Regarding long-term Finance, there was strong endorsement of confidence in the Co-Chairs in Bonn and support to go ahead with a work programme that will deliver a clear report to governments meeting in Doha on the sources of finance that need to ramp up to $100 billion by 2020.
In the field of adaptation, a draft decision text for Doha was agreed on ways to implement National Adaptation Plans for least developed countries, including linking funding and other support. In addition, governments submitted nominations for the members of the Adaptation Committee. This paves the way for the first meeting of this important committee, which is tasked with better coordinating international adaptation efforts. In the area of loss and damage, governments agreed to recognize the impact of slow onset events, such as sea level rise and ocean acidification, and acknowledged the importance of local communities.
The UN Climate Change Secretariat presented the prototype of a registry that matches information on developing country actions to curb emissions with industrialized country support. The prototype was well-received, and the secretariat will now finalize a working prototype ready for Doha at the end of the year
About the UNFCCC
With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 193 of the UNFCCC Parties. Under the Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.
See also: http://unfccc.int/press/items/2794.php
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