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United Nations satisfied with Bonn Climate Change Conference

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#Climate Change
The last round of climate change negotiations, held last week in Bonn (Germany), was created to engage negotiations before the next awaited UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun at the end of the year. The event, which gathered about 3,100 participants, including 178 government delegates, representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions, was regarded as “progressive” by the United-Nations. Christiana Figueres, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary, concluded: “Governments made progress towards deciding the shape of the result at next conference in Mexico, but need to narrow down the number of negotiating options”.

“Governments have a responsibility this year to take the next essential step in the battle against climate change,” announced Christiana Figueres during her introduction speech. “How governments achieve the next essential step is up to them. But it’s politically possible. In Cancun, the job of governments is to turn the politically possible into the politically irreversible […] More stringent actions to reduce emissions cannot be much longer postponed and industrial nations must lead,” she added, setting the tone of one of the ultimate chances of finding a global agreement after the failure of Copenhagen negotiations.

Concrete climate actions that Mrs. Figueres recommended to take were various, comprehensive and adaptable to all industrial countries: “adapting to climate change, limiting emissions growth, providing adequate finance, boosting the use of clean technology, promoting sustainable forestry…and building up the skills and capacity to do all this”. Negotiators were divided into 2 groups:

1. The government delegates discussed long-term global solutions to the climate challenge, under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA).

2. The 37 industrialized countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol discussed on emissions reduction commitments for the period beyond 2012, under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).

The negotiations outcome was progressive but there is still plenty of work to do, and Mrs. Figueres called on governments to agree further compromises until next conference in Mexico (November 29th -December 10th): “Governments have made progress but now they must radically narrow down the choices on the table”. In fact, no real advance has been made in topics such as emissions reduction, forests protection or aids to developing countries. Christiana Figueres particularly insisted on the importance to respect industrial countries’ engagement to give $30 billion to developing countries until 2012 to help them fight against climate change. This gesture is essential to find an agreement between developed and developing countries, especially as tensions still exist between rich countries and the developing world.

Governments were given a proposal text including draft decisions for Cancun and which was written by John Ashe, that they must consider until the next conference, in Tianjin, China (October 4th – 9th). “This week has given governments a final opportunity to be clear on their individual stances. Tianjin has to be the place where they make clear what their collective stance is going to be”. Tianjin will be the next and last reunion before the Cancun conference, and the last chance for countries to agree on compromises.

{{LNK|Go to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change|}}

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