New round of UN climate talks to start in Germany

21:02, April 08, 2010      

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A new round of UN climate change talks will be held from Friday to Sunday in the German city of Bonn to determine how to proceed with future negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Negotiators from two working groups under the UNFCCC will discuss the number and duration of any additional UNFCCC negotiating sessions in the second half of 2010 in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico, which is scheduled for Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.

This is the first round of talks after the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last December, which attracted more than 120 world leaders but failed to clinch a legally binding agreement due to differences between developing and developed countries.

Developing countries have insisted the UN climate change talks should insist on the dual-track negotiating mechanism, under which industrialized nations and developing countries bear "common but differentiated responsibilities" on fighting global warming.

The Copenhagen conference has drawn disappointment and criticism. Some countries, especially those in Europe, even termed it a "fiasco."

However, there has been a change of mood in the past three months, with more countries beginning to express support for the agreement and the UN negotiating process.

The Copenhagen Accord has drawn support from 111 countries and the European Union (EU), according to official reports published by the UN Climate Change Secretariat on March 31.

Since the end of the Copenhagen conference, the UNFCCC had received national pledges to cut or limit emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 from 75 parties, which together accounted for more than 80 percent of global emissions from energy use,the reports said.

"The Copenhagen Accord is not least significant because it includes a clear pledge by industrialized nations to provide short-term and long-term finance for developing countries for adaptation and mitigation," UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said.

"At the same time, it is clear that the Accord can be used to help advance the formal negotiations towards a successful outcome in Mexico," he said.

But de Boer emphasized at the same time that the Accord would not form a blueprint for a new treaty.

After a summit on March 25-26, leaders of the 27-member EU stressed the talks in Bonn should be focused on "integrating the political guidance of the Copenhagen Accord into the various negotiating texts."

The EU leaders also said in the conclusion document that UN climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico, should provide concrete decisions "anchoring the Copenhagen Accord to the UN negotiating process" and addressing remaining gaps.

De Boer said at a press conference on March 31 the next step was to translate the pledges into real action.

"It is clear that, while the pledges on the table are an important step towards the objective of limiting growth of emissions, they will not in themselves suffice to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius," De Boer said.

"The Climate Conference at the end of this year in Mexico, therefore, needs to put in place effective cooperative mechanisms capable of bringing about significant acceleration of national, regional and international action both to limit the growth of emissions and to prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change," he said.

According to the UN climate change chief, a first priority over the coming rounds is to ensure that the 30 billion U.S. dollars pledged by industrialized countries in terms of prompt start finance begins to flow quickly to adjust the urgent need of developing countries in a balanced way, focusing on both adaptation and mitigation.

Industrialized countries promised under the Copenhagen Accord to raise 30 billion dollars from 2010-2012 as fast start fund to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change, rising to 100 billion dollars a year by 2020.

Source: Xinhua


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