Home International Bangkok climate meet opens amid fresh hope

Bangkok climate meet opens amid fresh hope


Bangkok : The penultimate round of negotiations in preparation for a global climate deal in Copenhagen this December started here Monday, with a fresh impetus given to the process by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the G20 summit last week.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva opened the two-week meeting, saying: “The (UNGA) summit was able to renew our collective engagement on the issue of climate change at the very highest levels. So I hope that the political will and vision expressed by all leaders in New York will now guide you, as negotiators and concerned national officials, on the road to Copenhagen.”

Leaders at the UNGA in New York called for a climate change deal in December that ensures enhanced action to assist the most vulnerable and the poorest to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

They also stressed that ambitious emission reduction targets are required for industrialised countries, as well as the need for nationally-appropriate mitigation

actions by developing countries with necessary support. Furthermore, they reiterated that significantly scaled-up financial and technological resources and an equitable governance structure are required.

The pronouncements at UNGA have given fresh hope that negotiators will be able to hammer out a deal by the Copenhagen summit.

Whilst negotiations here are expected to focus on the five elements world leaders subscribed to in New York, areas in which some progress had been made at previous negotiating sessions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in which progress can be extended include adaptation action, REDD (reducing emissions from

deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries), technology,

capacity building, and institutional arrangements for finance, according to a UNFCCC spokesperson.

A key focus will be on obtaining clarity on further emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries. Important technical work under the Kyoto Protocol will be taken forward on issues such as land use, land-use change and forestry, identifying new greenhouse gases to be included in the Copenhagen agreed outcome and defining base years for emission cuts, the spokesperson added.

“Furthermore, countries will continue to discuss which mechanisms can be deployed to raise the level of ambition of industrialised countries. They will also assess the impacts emission cuts will have on developed and developing economies.”

The gathering from Monday to Oct 9 is being attended by over 4,000 participants, including government delegates from 177 countries, representatives from business and industry, environmental organisations and research institutions.

The Bangkok meeting will be followed by a final five days of pre-Copenhagen negotiations in Barcelona in November.