EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Huge Push On Climate Change Pre-Copenhagen

  • June 13th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

bonn-c-change2.jpgThis year has already seen a welter of consultations at highest levels in the lead-up to the December meeting at Copenhagen on climate change — but not everybody is impressed with the rate of progress.

A drafting session for a possible agreement, lasting twelve days with thousands of participants, has just has just ended in Bonn.


Wherever heads of government, officially appointed scientists and other researchers, business leaders or environmentalists meet now, the climate change event, (for 7-18.12.09),  is on the agenda.

Last month the EU had representatives at meetings of national Ministers in Cambodia and Vietnam, where, among development aid issues and tensions surrounding North Korea, “CC” was again listed, (see EUAustralia, EU focus on Asia, 27 and 28.5.09). When two European Commissioners visited Australia, it was the same, (see EUAustralia, EU leaders in Australia, 27.5.09).


The “lining up” of a possible binding world agreement, even if it may well be to save the planet, is not a simple task.

copenhagen-logo.gifThe formal side of that process ins being run by the hosts for Copenhagen, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCCC), through a succession of preliminary negotiations.

After last week’s event in Bonn (finishing 12.6.09), there’ll be further talks in that city, in August; in Bangkok during September and October, and in Barcelona in November.


The Bonn gathering was attended by some 3000 government delegates, and business,  industry, environmental and research participants.

climate-change-bonn3.jpgOrganisers have been anxious to point out that the conferencing is producing results; this time they were at work on a 53-page negotiating document, as the template for the main gathering at the year’s end.

The Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change body, Yvo de Boer, hailed it as “the first time a real negotiating text will be on the table …”.

He said it would provide the basics for the draft agreement, on a “clean energy future”, and mentioned especially the commitment of the United States to the project, since the installation of the Obama Administration this year.

“The world is not standing still on climate change”, he said.


That has been challenged this week by environmentalist interests becoming impatient with the solid, and plodding approach of UN bureaucracy.

The language of the world  body can become incomprehensible, well stocked with anagrams for the interest groups and agencies taking part, the gatherings and the stages: SBSTA, SBT, AMG-KP, AMG-LCS, and so forth.

Greenpeace has attacked all that (12.6.09) declaring the thousands at Bonn made “no significant progress towards the necessary strong climate agreement in Copenhagen”, and were only “gathering a bag of bargaining chips.”

“It’s clear that many of the government officials negotiating in Bonn are in their own little bubble, impervious to both public concern and climate science”, said Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director.

He said the leading industrial countries, the Group of 8, should intervene to get more concrete standards and achievements on the register; as doubts about the urgency of the situation for the planet had evaporated.

“At the July G8 meeting they must provide the leadership the climate crisis demands and commit to serious, binding cuts in emissions and financing for the developing world”, he added.


Greenpeace European Unit, Bonn, “G8 leaders must break climate change”, 12.6.09., (13.6.09).

UNFCCC, Bonn, 12.6.09., (13.6.09).

Fact sheet: UN Climate Change Talks Bonn; UNFCCC Executive Secretary: “World  Not Standing Still on Climate Change”; UN Climate Change talks Bonn, June 2009.

Pictures: Bon gathering, UNFCCC