Representatives from 175 countries meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) in Bonn, Germany, have made progress toward successful results at a climate change conference that will be held in Cancun, Mexico, later this year. However, options for action on climate change need to be narrowed down, according to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Many of the representatives say that a set of Conference of Parties decisions that quickly operationalize key elements of the Bali Action Plan would be an achievable outcome of the Cancun conference, which is scheduled for Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.
‘This means countries could agree to take accountable action to, for example, manage and deploy climate finance, boost technology transfer, build skills, and capacity to do this and deal with adaptation, especially in the poorest and most vulnerable countries,’ says Figueres.
The Bali Action Plan, which was agreed to in 2007, serves as a basis for work under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention. The negotiating group is tasked to deliver a long-term global solution to the climate challenge.
‘Progress at Cancun would also include a mandate to take the process inexorably forward towards an encompassing agreement with legally binding status, which would take more time,’ Figueres adds.
The chair of the Kyoto Protocol negotiating track, John Ashe, produced a draft proposal text, which governments will be able to consider between now and the next UNFCCC negotiating session in October.
That text includes a possible set of draft decisions for Cancun, including impacts of agriculture on emissions, carbon markets and mechanisms, greenhouse gases and the effects on different countries of moving to a low-emissions future.
Figueres warned that many countries had reinserted established positions into the texts, increasing the number of options for action. She called on governments to agree further compromises at all levels between now and the Cancun conference.