UN meeting in Bonn moves world closer to action on climate change

“This meeting has served to resolve a number of issues ahead of the Bali conference,” Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the close of the discussions in Bonn, Germany, which were attended by around 1,800 participants, including the 191 Parties to the Convention and 173 Parties to its Kyoto Protocol, which contains legally binding targets for reducing emissions through 2012. Topics covered included methods for increasing the transfer of clean technologies, adapting to the inevitable effects of climate change and preventing deforestation, estimated to account for more than 20 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The conference was also the first opportunity for delegates to react to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in early May, which maintained that climate change can be mitigated at relatively low cost with the right policies and incentives. The current high level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere was caused by industrialized countries, said developing countries at the meeting, advocating for their own right growth and poverty alleviation, according to Mr. de Boer. “This is why the issue of economic incentives to green investments in developing countries is so important,” he said, adding that these would probably involve carbon trading schemes. “The fact that European, American and Australian business groups here in Bonn have been calling on governments to adopt long-term, legally binding emission reduction targets is as strong signal that they feel the carbon market will be an important part of any 2012 agreement, “ said Mr. Boer. The talks will resume in Vienna this August. 18 May 2007Parties to United Nations-backed agreements on climate change today concluded a preparatory session on stemming the emission of greenhouse gasses and mitigating their effects ahead of a major world conference on the issue in December in Bali, Indonesia.