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Promising Prospectus from Poznań, Poland

  • December 13th, 2008
  • Posted by Amelia Birnie

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ended yesterday in Poznań, Poland with a clear commitment from governments to get more serious with their negotiation in the coming year.

The convention’s endorsement of the so-called Global Environment Facility’s “Poznań Strategic Programme on Technology Transfer” will mean marked progress, as the program will increase levels of investment in environmental protection.

It is set to do that through providing support for private investment in developing countries, for both climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies.

The President of the convention, Polish Environment Minister, Maciej Nowicki, said the United Nations sponsored gathering served its purpose as the mid-point in a two-year world bargaining exercise, which started at Bali late in 2007.

“We will now move to the next level of negotiations, which involves crafting a concrete negotiating text for the agreed outcome,” he said.

The countries represented — some 190 delegations — worked out a work program for next year, including a move to give individual countries access to the Kyoto Protocol adaptation fund — clearing the way for funding of more anti-climate change projects.

They were not able to agree on plans for further use of the international fund, for certain joint projects and for carbon emissions trading.

Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Yvo de Boar, said the key triumph of the convention was the government’s shared vision for long-term cooperative action on climate change.

“Governments have sent a strong political signal that despite the financial and economic crisis, significant funds can be mobilised for both mitigation and adaptation in developing countries with the help of a clever financial architecture and the institutions to deliver the financial support,” said Mr de Boer.

ABOUT THE UNFCCC

With 192 Parties, the UNFCCC convention has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol has to date 183 states signed up as memeber Parties.

Under the Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialised countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments.

The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

ABOUT THE CDM

Under the “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM), projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries and contribute to sustainable development can earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits.

Countries with a commitment under the Kyoto Protocol buy CERs to cover a portion of their emission reduction obligations under the Treaty.

There are currently more than 1240 registered CDM projects in 51 countries and about another 3000 projects in the project registration pipeline.

The CDM is expected to generate more than 2.9 billion CERs by the time the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, each equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.

Reference:

UNFCCC, (Media release), “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”, PoznaÅ„, Poland, 13.12.08

Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, “Poznan conference should not be living in past”, 11.12.08

Picture: UNFCCC

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