Thursday, 30 August 2012

Looking beyond Bangkok climate change meeting ahead of COP18

Government representatives and members of civil society have begun meeting in Bangkok today in preparation for the COP18 UN climate change conference in Doha. The Bangkok meeting is aimed at harmonizing decisions regarding  cutting greenhouse gas emissions and help the poor and vulnerable adapt to climate change. 
“Governments know they must implement these promises fully, raise their efforts before 2020 and redouble those efforts again after 2020," said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"Soon, in Doha, they must show implementation and set the pace towards adopting a new, universal climate agreement by 2015.  The next three years are set to drive the next two decades of the international response to climate change," she said.

At the last UNFCCC conference, in Durban, South Africa, nations set specific objectives for their 2012 meeting in Doha, Qatar (26 November to 7 December). These include essential work to trigger a new phase of greater climate action and to take the next concrete steps to fill existing gaps in the international policy response to climate change.

Three negotiating groups are meeting informally in Bangkok over the next week. One group will discuss how to amend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing treaty under which industrialised countries commit to emissions cuts, so that it continues into a second commitment period next year and its important
international infrastructure and accounting rules are preserved.

A second group is preparing to conclude the work which it began in 2007 and which has resulted in a set of international agreements that aim to limit the average global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius (beyond which climate change becomes increasingly dangerous), to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions sufficiently to achieve this and to establish an adequate support system to provide developing countries with finance and technology to build their own sustainable, clean energy futures.

The third, new working group will discuss how to take the next steps necessary to negotiate the new global climate change agreement, which must be adopted by 2015 and enter into force from 2020, and how to raise current inadequate global ambition to deal with climate change, including cutting greenhouse gas emissions even faster.

The  theme at the Bangkok meeting is how to make sure that promised, adequate funds flow from developed to developing countries to support their plans to deal with climate change.  "All sides need a clearer understanding on how to get to 100 billion USD a year by 2020 with no gaps," said Ms Figueres.

by Mubatsi Asinja Habati

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