Baltic and European news
A fortnight of international climate change talks in Nairobi, Kenya, has agreed a work plan to begin discussions for a post-2012 successor to the Kyoto protocol, scheduled a review of the protocol for 2008 and adopted several initiatives to help combat climate change in developing countries.
The talks closed with three days of ministerial talks that ended on Friday. As expected, the talks did not lead to major breakthroughs in the search for a future global climate policy architecture. Instead, the EU welcomed "solid progress" and green groups "small steps forward".
"The EU has achieved all its main priorities and continues to lead the battle against climate change," Finnish environment minister Jan-Erik Enestam said. Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas said the meeting had shown it was "increasingly clear that global emissions need to be halved by mid-century".
POST-2012 ACTION AND KYOTO PROTOCOL REVIEW
Countries with greenhouse gas reduction targets under Kyoto agreed a "detailed work plan" spelling out the steps needed to agree post-2012 commitments. By next February each must submit data that will be used to derive these targets. But there was no consensus on a deadline for deciding future caps.
The conference also agreed to undertake a comprehensive review of the protocol's operation in 2008. Developing countries had pushed for a later review but the EU secured the earlier date by agreeing that the review "shall not lead to new commitments for any party".
In the second round of a dialogue between industrialised and developing countries on long-term climate policy, discussion focussed on the economic challenges of, and market solutions to, climate change. Debate on a possible mechanism allowing developing countries to adopt voluntary Kyoto targets was put off until next May.
ADAPTATION AND CLEAN TECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Delegates finalised a five-year programme of measures to help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change. They also agreed to set up an adaptation fund that could eventually total E300m, but failed to decide which body should administer it. The conference also settled the rules for a separate fund that will finance adaptation, technology transfer and emission mitigation efforts in developing countries. In addition, Germany pledged E24m and Italy E8m to a new EU fund to spur investment in developing countries (EED 06/10/06 http://www.endseuropedaily.com/21796).
UN secretary-general Kofi Annan announced the "Nairobi framework", a coalition of six UN agencies that will work to direct clean development mechanism (CDM) projects to African countries. There was also agreement to make the CDM process more transparent. A consultation on carbon capture and storage will lead to a decision in 2008 on whether to include the technology in the CDM.
In other business the protocol was amended for the first time, to give Belarus an eight per cent greenhouse gas reduction target. Once ratified by other Kyoto parties, this will enable Belarus to benefit from investments under Kyoto's flexible mechanisms. Meanwhile Kazakhstan said it would take on a voluntary gas-cutting commitment.
Follow-up: See UNFCCC conference pages http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_12/items/3754.php and final press release
plus Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary http://www.iisd.ca/download/pdf/enb12318e.pdf. See also statements
from the EU http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/06/1584&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en, UK and Germany http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2006/061117a.htm, WWF http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/index.cfm?uNewsID=87340, Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/nairobi-cop-mop-conculsion181106, and NGO Bund http://www.endseuropedaily.com/docs/61120a.doc.
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