EDITOR'S NOTE
Thursday, 13 December 2007

The wide range of climate-related talks and events during the past two weeks makes it a real challenge to keep track of where international climate change policy is moving. Not only are the negotiations within the Climate Change Conference in Bali being held in multiple negotiating bodies and thirty-some contact groups, they have been accompanied by more side events, reports and protests than in the past, bringing even more perspectives, and energy, to the negotiations and future implementation efforts.

Negotiators in Bali have finalized some long-discussed issues, such as the governance of the Adaptation Fund, while other issues, such as reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), have assumed a more prominent role on the agenda and have been the focus of numerous side events. In addition, the entire sustainable development community has held its breath waiting for negotiators to arrive at a decision on the process to be used to develop commitments for the post-2012 period.

Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.
Editor, Linkages Update
and MEA Bulletin

Meanwhile, Indonesia organized finance and trade ministers to conduct their own talks on how climate change impacts their spheres of influence, and how policies and actions within their spheres may contribute to the goals under discussion in the official negotiations. Complementing this recognition that efforts to combat climate change will involve economic shifts, the UN Environment Programme, in partnership with the International Labor Organization and the International Trade Union Confederation, released a preliminary draft report, ‘Green Jobs: Can the Transition to Environmental Sustainability Spur New Kinds and Higher Levels of Employment?,’ identifying new employment opportunities that are expected to be generated as a result of climate change mitigation efforts. Bali Global Business Day, which convened some 350 participants from industry and other organizations on 10 December, demonstrated industry’s interest in engaging in the search for mitigation options.  

Just as the UN Development Programme’s recently-released Human Development Report, which focuses on ‘Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world,’ seeks to encourage action of UN country teams working with national counterparts on climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness, all of the actors and events of the past two weeks have sought to stimulate action at some level to address the climate change challenges that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identified in its Fourth Assessment Report. The year 2007 is drawing to a close with the sustainable development community focused on these issues. As attention turns increasingly to the questions of when, where and how emissions will be reduced, and at what costs, we will continue to monitor how these efforts are carried forward in 2008.

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