United Nations Climate Change Conference successfull

“Spirit of Nairobi” prevails as United Nations Climate Change Conference successfully concludes with decisions to support developing countries

Bonn, Germany – The United Nations Climate Change Conference concluded 2006-11-17 with the adoption of a wide range of decisions designed to mitigate climate change and help countries adapt to the effects of global warming.

The conference was attended by around six thousand participants, among them more than 100 ministers, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and two heads of state.

“The conference has delivered on its promise to support the needs of developing countries,” said Conference President, Kenyan Minister for Natural Resources and the Environment Kivutha Kibwana. “The positive spirit of the conference has prevailed.”
At the meeting, activities for the next few years under the “Nairobi Work programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation” were agreed. These activities will help enhance decision-making on adaptation action and improved assessment of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.

Another important outcome is the agreement on the management of the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol. The Adaptation Fund draws on proceeds generated by the clean development mechanism (CDM) and is designed to support concrete adaptation activities in developing countries.

The CDM permits industrialized countries, which have emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol, to invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries that reduce greenhouse gas emission, and thereby generate tradable emission credits.

The Conference recognized the barriers that stand in the way of increased penetration of CDM projects in many countries, in particular in Africa.

Parties welcomed the “Nairobi Framework” announced by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which will provide additional support to developing countries to successfully develop projects for the CDM.

Rules were finalized for the Special Climate Change Fund. The fund is designed to finance projects in developing countries relating to adaptation, technology transfer, climate change mitigation and economic diversification for countries highly dependent on income from fossil fuels.

At Nairobi, Parties also adopted rules of procedure for the Kyoto Protocol’s Compliance Committee, making it fully operational.
The Compliance Committee, with its enforcement and facilitative branches, ensures that the Parties to the Protocol have a clear accountability regime in meeting their emission reductions targets.

Talks on commitments of industrialized countries for post-2012 under the Kyoto Protocol advanced well, with Parties reaching agreement on a detailed work plan spelling out the steps needed to reach agreement on a set of new commitments.

“The 166 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol heard in Nairobi that global emissions of greenhouse gases have to be reduced to very low levels, well below half of levels in 2000, in order to avoid dangerous climate change,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“The fact that Parties now have a concrete workplan means that they can move ahead with addressing issues fundamental for agreement on future commitments, such as the level of emission reductions that is required and the ways in which they can be achieved,” he added
Parties also held a second round of the Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to enhance implementation of the Convention, open to all 189 Parties to the UNFCCC. Landmark presentations on the latest findings on economic challenges posed by global warming were made, along with economic solutions.
“We are seeing a revolutionary shift in the debate on climate change, from looking at climate change policies as a cost factor for development, countries are starting to see them as opportunities to enhance economic growth in a sustainable way,” said Yvo de Boer.
“The further development of carbon markets can help mobilize the necessary financial resources needed for a global response to climate change and give us a future agreement that is focused on incentives to act,” he added.

Brazil put forward a concrete proposal for an arrangement to provide positive incentives to reduce deforestation emissions in developing countries. This proposal will be discussed at a meeting in March next year.

“The spirit of Nairobi has been truly remarkable,” Conference President Kibwana said. “Let us now use the momentum of this conference to carry this spirit forward and jointly undertake the kind of concerted action we need for humankind to have a future on this planet.”

The next round of negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol and talks under the United Nations Climate Change Convention will be held in Bonn, Germany in May 2007.