UN climate change negotiations progressing – UN official

Climate change negotiations at a United Nations conference in Nairobi are progressing toward decisions on key issues that include adaptation, financial mechanisms, deforestation, technology transfer and capacity building, officials there said today.Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said countries, in discussions on reducing future emissions, were focusing on a workplan for subsequent negotiations. They have agreed that the next step should focus on “mitigation potential,” or “what can we actually do to reduce emissions of industrialized countries.” Concluding the first week of talks, the 189 parties to the Climate Change Convention are also discussing various ways to move forward on future commitments for industrialized countries to reduce emissions after the Kyoto Protocol, which covers a commitment period of 2008 to 2012. “The Convention is telling you that you need to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with climate systems,” Mr. de Boer said. “In order to achieve that goal you need to take action. The question is how can you take that action most effectively at the national level and through cooperation at the international level.”Mr. de Boer said a proposal from the Russian Federation that would make it possible for any country in the future to make voluntary commitments to reduce emissions was the subject of serious discussions and disagreements, and that countries were deciding how to deal with it. Progress has been on an international programme to reduce emissions in countries with economies in transition. The programme, known as Joint Implementation, provides a new market-based mechanism to promote emission reducing projects through cooperation between industrialized countries and countries with economies in transition, was officially launched on 26 October. Another mechanism, the Clean Development Mechanism, already exists to promote development in developing countries through the trading of emission rights.Daniela Stoycheva, Chair of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee that oversees Joint Implementation, said four projects had been received so far, in Bulgaria, Russia and Ukraine, and that 125 were expected in 2007. She said countries that buy emission rights included Austria, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Netherlands and Spain.Mr. de Boer said there is a very large potential for Joint Implementation projects in countries with economies in transition because emissions can be reduced to a lower cost there.