Bangkok Climate Change Talks
Three months after the landmark agreement on a road map towards strengthened international action on climate change reached in Bali, Indonesia, the next round of negotiations shifts to the neighboring country of Thailand and its capital, Bangkok. The talks are taking place between 31 March to 4 April 2008 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The climate change talks in Bangkok will convene sessions of both the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (first session) and the Ad hoc Working Group on further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (first part of the fifth session), during which Parties need to advance the Bali Road Map agreed last December.
Parties agreed at Bali to formally launch negotiations on enabling the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention. These negotiations need to conclude in an agreed outcome by the end of 2009.
The challenge is to design a future agreement that will successfully halt the increase in global emissions within the next 10-15 years, dramatically cut back emissions by 2050, and do so in a way that is economically viable and politically equitable worldwide.
The Bangkok meeting of the Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention needs to map out how to tackle this enormous challenge and begin by establishing without delay a clear work programme for the next two years.
Concretely, Parties meeting in Bangkok will identify the areas that need to be further clarified as well as the issues where work needs to be done and in what order that should happen. They will also establish what input is needed from the UN at large, the business sector and others, and how this will be integrated into the overall work plan.
The issues that the new Working Group needs to address were clearly defined at Bali. In addition to the goal of achieving agreement on long-term global action, work on on-going issues such as deforestation and technology needs to be advanced.
The Kyoto Protocol AWG, mandated in 2005 to consider future commitments for Annex I Parties, will initiate the second step of its work programme; in particular, the analysis of possible means available to Annex I Parties to reach their emission reduction targets. It will provide an informal setting for input from experts and for Parties to present their views on the issues related to the different means, as well as on how to enhance their effectiveness and contribution to sustainable development. Issues under consideration include emissions trading and the project based mechanisms, land use, land-use change and forestry, greenhouse gases, sectors and source categories to be covered, and possible approaches targeting sectoral emissions. These themes will be addressed in an in-session thematic workshop.
For both groups, work will continue at the twenty-eighth session of the Subsidiary Bodies to be held in Bonn in June. After that, both groups will reconvene at a week-long intersessional meeting at the end of August before meeting again at the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties and the fourth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Poland in December.