UN Climate Change Talks begins in Bangkok (PRESS RELEASE )
UN Climate Change Talks begins in Bangkok with warnings that little time remains for international community to negotiate 2009 Copenhagen agreement
(Bangkok, 31 March 2008) – The UN Bangkok Climate Change talks got underway on Monday, the first major United Nations-sponsored meeting on climate change after the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali last year in December. At Bali, Parties agreed to step up international efforts to combat climate change and to launch formal negotiations to come to a long-term international agreement in Copenhagen by the end of 2009. The Bangkok meeting is designed to both map out a work programme that will lead to that agreement and to advance work on the rules through which emission reduction targets of developed countries can be met.
The second working group that is meeting at Bangkok is the already existing Ad Hoc Working Group on further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). This group of rich countries will work on the analysis of possible tools available to these countries to reach emission reduction commitments. “There is already broad consensus among Parties on the importance of completing this work before political agreement is reached on a post-2012 deal in Copenhagen” said Harald Dovland, Chair of the group. ““Much of the technical work can be done before we meet in Denmark next year.” The tools that the working group will alalyse in Bangkok include emissions trading and the “project based mechanisms”. For example, the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism already allows developed countries to meet part of their emission reduction commitments by investing in sustainable development projects in developing countries. Other tools are land use, land-use change and forestry; greenhouse gases, sectors and source categories to be covered, along with possible approaches targeting sectoral emissions, for example from the steel or cement sectors. The next UN meeting involving negotiations under both working groups will take place in June in Bonn this year, followed by a third meeting in August and a fourth at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan in December.
About the UNFCCC
With 192 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has to date 178 member Parties. Under the Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized 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 stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.
UNFCCC Media contacts in Bangkok
Mr. John Hay, Conference Spokesperson, mobile: +66 85 488 7993 Mr. Alexander Saier, Media Coordinator (TV, Radio and Online Services), mobile: +66 85 488 7995 Ms. Carrie Assheuer, Interview requests (UNFCCC officials), mobile: +66 85 488 8300 Mr. Brian Thomson, Media Information Desk, +66 89 927 1986 Ms. Ichaya Methasate, Press accreditation, phone: +66 2 288 1482; mobile: +66 86 508 1579
Illustrating the argument with an example from India, the report says: “In water-stressed parts of India, irrigation pumps extract water from aquifers 24 hours a day for wealthy farmers, while neighbouring small holders depend on the vagaries of rain.”
Advocates small-scale solutions
The report, titled ‘Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis’, argues that decentralised, small-scale solutions and efficiency improvements are more likely to reach the poor than centralised reservoirs and canals. “For much of the past hundred years, water shortages in agriculture have been countered by dams and large-scale irrigation works. In the years ahead, the focus will shift decisively to demand management. Getting more crop per drop, rather than more water to the fields, is becoming the central concern in public policy debates.”