Governments urged to tackle work agreed in 2010 at UN climate meeting

climate change talks

The first United Nations (UN) climate change negotiating session for 2011 started in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary Christiana Figueres called on governments to tackle work agreed to in 2010 and address shortfalls in climate action to put the world on a climate-safe path.

She said that governments should complete the concrete work they agreed to in Cancun, Mexico, and to chart a way forward that would ensure renewed success at the following UN Climate Change Conference in Durban.

“If governments move forward in the continued spirit of flexibility and compromise that inspired them in Mexico, then I’m confident they can make significant new progress in 2011,” Figueres said.

“The fragile compromise achieved in Cancun helped put the UN negotiations back on track. Bangkok needs to build on this progress and boost the overall ambition levels of the talks if we are to avert the worst consequences of climate change,” said South African World Wide Fund for Nature delegation leader Tasneem Essop.

Figueres further said that governments have two main tasks before them in 2011. The first relates to the emission reduction targets and actions, which would keep the world from breaching the 2 ºC average temperature rise, by the end of the century, as agreed in Cancun.

The sum of national promises to date equals only about 60% of what science requires by 2020 to stay below the agreed 2 ºC goal.

Resolving fundamental issues over the future of the Kyoto Protocol would also be required. The first commitment period under the protocol expires at the end of 2012.

Secondly, Figueres called on governments to advance work on establishing the institutions agreed to in Mexico in 2010, and deliver the funding and technology to assist developing countries deal with climate change.

“It is important that the agreed actions and institutions are delivered on time and in accordance with the deadlines agreed in Cancun so that the broader global climate regime is up and running in 2012,” she said.

The institutions include a Green Climate Fund to house the international management, deployment and accountability of long-term funds for developing country assistance; a Technology Mechanism to promote clean technologies; and an Adaptation Framework to boost international cooperation to help developing countries protect themselves from climate change impacts.

Detailed discussions on how to launch the new Technology Mechanism began on Monday in Bangkok. The workshop looked at practical issues such as what the network should look like, who should be included in it, and how effective participation of relevant institutions could be ensured.

The UNFCCC also said that in Bangkok governments began providing clarity of action both for emission reduction targets by industrialised countries, and plans to limit emissions by developing countries.

A UNFCCC workshop took place Sunday on industrialised country’s emission reduction targets and the conditions for meeting them. A second workshop got under way Monday on developing country mitigation actions, looking at what these actions mean and what level of support they might need.

The conference in Bangkok would end on Friday, and was attended by about 1 500 participants from 173 countries, including government delegates, representatives from business and industry, environmental organisations and research institutions.

Source: Engineering News

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