UNFCC Climate Talks Close in Bonn: Progressing Toward Copenhagen

Delegates from 183 countries wrapped up meetings today in Bonn, Germany at the 6th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Ad Hoc Working Group that opened on June 1st.

Talks concluded with progress made on draft negotiating texts that “(reflect) governments’ proposals on how to step up international climate change action” according to a press release issued by the UNFCC on Friday. The negotiating texts will serve as the foundation for an international climate change treaty that will hopefully be finalized at COP15 in Copenhagen this December.

A big achievement of this meeting is that governments have made it clearer what they want to see in the Copenhagen agreed outcome,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCC. “In my view, an ambitious and effective agreed outcome in Copenhagen is in sight – an outcome that provides a strong and definitive answer to the alarm raised by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Michael Zammit Cutajar, Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), also pointed to the accelerated pace of negotiations at the Bonn meeting, during which many important elements were added to the Convention text.

The next step will be for Parties to refine and streamline the Convention text and to begin drafting at the next session in August, whilst engaging on the specifics of the text,” he said.

The negotiating text for consideration by the AWG-LCA, which comprises all 192 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, covers issues of a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, enhanced action on adaptation, mitigation and finance, technology and capacity-building.

A group working at the meeting focused on the task of negotiating a proposed level of aggregate emissions reduction commitments for industrialized nations “post Kyoto” (after 2012). Despite promising signs coming from the meetings, Yvo de Boer warned that the AWG-KP negotiating group was still far away from the emission reduction range that has been set as a beacon by science to avoid the worst ravages of climate change: a minus 25% to minus 40% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020.

Between now and Copenhagen, the level of ambition needs to be increased. This is still possible if the opportunities for international cooperative action are fully seized” he said.

Two groups also meeting in Bonn, the “Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. (SBSTA) and the “Subsidiary Body for Implementation” (SBI) worked on issues ranging from emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation, technology transfer, and sustainable development assistance for developing nations. The SBSTA made particular progress on methodologies making it possible to monitor and report emissions from deforestation, which account for 20% of all greenhouse gas pollution. The Expert Group on Technology Transfer attached to the SBI produced reports on future financing options, long-term technology transfer strategies, and performance indicators. These reports will provide important input for what can be written into the Copenhagen deal on technology cooperation.

The next negotiation session takes place in Bonn this August 10-14.

Sources and information
June meeting fact sheet (pdf)
June 12 press release (pdf)

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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