UN Climate Secretariat pleased with Bali negotiations
Dec 9, 2007, 2:20 GMT
Bali Island, Indonesia - Negotiations on a new worldwide climate agreement are well on their way, participants at the UN Climate Conference in Nusa Dua on the island of Bali said Saturday.
'I observe a strong willingness to success,' Yvo de Boer, the head of the UN Climate Secretariat said, adding the message for the politicians due to arrive next week was clear: 'You have to act now. The world is waiting. What is your political answer to what science is telling you?'
Politicians from nearly 190 countries in Nusa Dua are to give the starting shot for a new world climate protection treaty to follow the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2012.
De Boer warned not to go into too much detail in Bali. The aim was to start the negotiation process. Targets for a further reduction of emissions should only be tackled later, he said.
'The developing countries have made it clear that they are not willing to take on binding reduction targets,' de Boer said.
However, some of them were prepared to make a contribution to climate protection if they were given incentives. To do that a transfer of technologies from industrial nations to developing nations was necessary, he said.
Stephen Singer of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) also said he was generally pleased with the conference. In particular, there had been movement in developing nations, including China, Brazil and South Africa, he said. These countries had shown that they were prepared to make their contribution to climate protection, he added.
However, Singer was disappointed that industrial nations had not made available more means to transfer technology and help developing nations to adapt to climate change.
A blueprint on the issue is due to be discussed over the next few days.
The Climate Conference itself, meanwhile, produced nearly 34,000 tons of CO2, the German Wirtschaftswoche magazine reported in its online edition on Saturday.
The figure, which takes into account the flights of some 10,000 conference participants, their accommodation, board and refuse collection, had been calculated by Swiss foundation myclimate for the magazine, it said.
Environment organization Greenpeace has said it is not shocked by the result.
'If they reach a good result for climate protection here, it's worth it,' climate expert Gabriela von Goerne said in Nusa Dua.
On the conference's Forest Day on Saturday, the Indonesian forest minister also called for an international recognition for the protection of tropical forests.
Indonesia expected an international agreement which would create incentives for sustainable forest management via market mechanisms, Malam Sambat Kaban said in Nusa Dua.
Indonesia and other countries with tropical forests have been pressing for financial rewards to protect the woodlands.
The Bali conference is debating whether countries which protect their tropical forests could in exchange get emission certificates, which could then be bought by producers of greenhouse gases who have to reduce their emissions.
A reduction of emissions caused by deforestation and damage to forests had to be part of the climate agreement that would come into force after the Kyoto protocol, the minister said.
The world's largest environmental funding body, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), meanwhile, said it planned to launch a tropical forest account initiative to stop deforestation to help safeguard forest ecosystem for protected areas and for sustainable forest management.
'The window to save the last remaining functioning expanses of tropical forests, which are responsible for the delivery of crucial global environmental services, is closing fast,' GEF chairwoman Monique Barbut said.
The so-called Tropical Forest Account Initiative would fund projects to stop deforestation in 17 countries of the Amazon, Congo Basin, New Guinea and Borneo, arguing that action is need as threats mount for the tropical forests in these areas.
The GEF is a 178 member-strong international financing body devoted to global environmental issues that support sustainable development.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur