Saturday, July 14, 2012


The 36th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the fifteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), the seventeenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) takes place concurrently from 14 to 25 May.

The negotiations in Bonn were meant to build on a deal struck in December in Durban, South Africa, to create a new global climate pact by 2015 that would make both rich and poor nations rein in emissions caused by the burning of oil and other fossil fuels. More than 180 countries agreed on an agenda for work on a new climate treaty by 2015 at United Nations climate talks.

The European Union claims China and other developing countries are backsliding on commitments made in Durban to bring the discussion on emissions cuts from both rich and poor nations into one forum, instead of the current structure, which has two parallel negotiation tracks. Developing countries — backed by climate activists — accuse the U.S., EU and other industrialised nations of trying to evade commitments made in previous negotiations and shift responsibilities for tackling climate change to the developing world.

Environmentalist groups and countries that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change warn that time is running out to avert disastrous consequences like increased extreme weather, ocean acidification and glacier melts.

Countries have agreed that deep emissions cuts are needed to limit a rise in global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius this century above pre-industrial levels, a threshold that scientists say is the minimum required to avert catastrophic effects.

However, one of the main contributors to global warming, global carbon dioxide emissions, hit a record high last year, according to the International Energy Agency, which advises industrialised countries.

Some countries also look set to miss their emissions cut targets for 2020, putting the world on a dangerous trajectory towards a rise in global average temperature of 3.5 degree Celsius, research showed.

The only existing binding treaty, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, was shunned by the U.S. because it doesn't impose any emissions targets on China, thus leaving out the two biggest carbon emitters on the globe. It was set to expire this year but countries agreed in Durban to extend it, though they haven't agreed on how long. Canada, Japan and Russia have refused to make any new commitments under Kyoto, meaning it only covers about 15 per cent of global emissions.

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