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Recent Meetings

Climate and Atmosphere


Meetings from: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 

December 2007

WMO EVENT CONSIDERS CLIMATE CHANGE AND AGRICULTURE IN ASIA

The UN World Meteorological Organization has held a regional meeting to consider the impact of climate change and extreme weather in the context of sustainable agriculture. The Regional Association Working Group on Agricultural Meteorology met from 17-19 December 2007, in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and was attended by representatives from 10 Asian nations, including China and the Russian Federation. Participants reportedly considered such issues as “drought response, impacts of climate change, water resources, pest and diseases.” More investment in urban and indoor agriculture was urged, and the importance of early warning and monitoring systems were also considered. Link to further information UN News story, 20 December 2007
BALI CLIMATE TALKS NEAR CONCLUSION

The final stage of negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali is underway, as the 14 December deadline for ending the meeting approaches. The conference, which began on 3 December and has attracted over 10,000 participants, has involved a complex series of meetings and events, including the thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and third Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 3). In addition, the twenty-seventh sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 27) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 27) have convened, as well as the resumed fourth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG 4). Delegates concluded their work under the SBI and SBSTA early in the second week, with one notable outcome being agreement on a draft COP/MOP decision establishing an Adaptation Fund. The Fund, which was the subject of lengthy negotiation, will have a GEF-based secretariat, the World Bank as trustee, and 16 representatives of parties to the Kyoto Protocol on the board. These institutional arrangements will be reviewed every three years. As the meeting draws to a close, however, the key issue of the post-2012 framework remains under discussion.. The post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires, has been the major focus in Bali, with delegates seeking to agree on a negotiating process – or “Bali roadmap” – to finalize a post-2012 regime by 2009. This negotiating process is likely to include discussions under the aegis of both the Convention and the Protocol, with continuing work under the AWG and a broad review under Article 9 of the Protocol. Many negotiators have been focused on arrangements for negotiations under the Convention, with parties discussing a “non-paper” drafted on Saturday, 8 December. The non-paper outlines three options for a negotiation process under the Convention: a more informal “dialogue,” a more formal ad hoc open-ended working group, and merging a working group under the Convention with the Protocol's AWG. Negotiators also considered what language to include in this text, with the original draft referring to “quantified national emission objectives” for developed countries, and “recognizing national actions by developing countries.” Any decision in Bali will guide and direct the focus of negotiations over the next two years, including the likely role of different parties and groups of parties. If agreed, the Bali roadmap is likely to take the form of a “President's Declaration” that refers to the various relevant decisions by the COP and COP/MOP. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
BALI CLIMATE CONFERENCE AGREES ON “ROADMAP”

The December 2007 UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, has concluded with an agreement on a “Bali roadmap.” The agreement, which was reached a full day after the 3-14 December 2007 meeting was scheduled to conclude, establishes a process to reach agreement by 2009 on commitments for emissions reductions in the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires. Several issues proved difficult to resolve, especially during the talks on long-term cooperative action under the Convention. Text on mitigation by developed and developing countries was particularly contentious, with parties finally agreeing on a proposal by India and other developing countries to text referring to nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country parties in the context of sustainable development, supported by technology and enabled by finance and capacity building in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner. The conference attracted over 10,000 participants and involved a complex series of meetings and events, including the thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and third Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 3). In addition, the twenty-seventh sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 27) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 27) convened, as well as the resumed fourth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG 4). Delegates concluded their work under the SBI and SBSTA early in the second week, with one notable outcome being agreement on a draft COP/MOP decision establishing an Adaptation Fund. The Fund will have a Global Environment Facility-based secretariat, the World Bank as trustee, and 16 representatives of parties to the Kyoto Protocol on the board. These institutional arrangements will be reviewed every three years. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE DAYS CONVENE DURING COP 13

“Development and Climate Days at COP 13” was organized by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the RING alliance of policy research organizations, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The 8-9 December 2007 event convened in parallel to the Bali Climate Change Conference, to provide a platform for individuals and organizations working on the issues of development, adaptation and climate change to exchange experiences, and discuss challenges and emerging ideas on how to reduce vulnerability to climate change. Sessions focused on disaster reduction and extreme events, cities, health, financing adaptation, food and agriculture, community-based adaptation and energy, and communicating for communities across sectors and timescales. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
FORESTS HIGH ON BALI CLIMATE CONFERENCE AGENDA

Running parallel to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, a “Forest Day” event was organized on 8 December 2007 by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and co-hosted by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests. The first of its kind, Forest Day was attended by more than 800 people, including scientists, policymakers and representatives from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. With widespread recognition of the key role that forests play in both mitigation and adaptation to climate change, Forest Day was convened as a platform for multi-stakeholder discussion to help shape the global forest agenda. Included in the event were 25 side events and sessions on four cross-cutting themes: methodological challenges in estimating forest carbon; market and governance; equity versus efficiency; and adaptation. A number of side events held at the Climate Change Conference also focused on reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), with speakers, inter alia, proposing new tropical deforestation emission reduction schemes, describing the political economy of avoided deforestation, and urging private sector participation. In addition, a study was released by the World Agroforestry Center, CIFOR and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture showing that, in many cases, activities resulting in deforestation rarely returned more that US $5 for every ton of carbon they released, while a ton of carbon on the European market is currently trading at 23 euros. Another study by New Forests showed that REDD can compete well against other land uses except for palm oil, which was still much more profitable. Links to further information IISD RS coverage of Forest Day IISD RS coverage of UN Climate Change Conference side events CIFOR media release, 5 December 2007
ASIA-PACIFIC WATER FORUM SUMMIT ADDRESSES CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS

The first Asia-Pacific Water Summit, organized by the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) and held in Beppu, Japan, from 3-4 December 2007, was attended by leaders from over 30 Asian countries, as well as by representatives from government, the private sector and civil society. Participants identified climate change as the main exacerbating factor of the current water crisis. Links to further information Asia Pacific Water Forum website Bloomberg, 4 December 2007 UN News Center, 3 December 2007

November 2007

GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY CONVENES

The Seventh Meeting of the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE-7) was held from 21-23 November 2007, in Vienna, Austria. The meeting convened under the theme “Energy Efficiency for Developing Countries - Strong Policies and New Technologies,” and considered policies, case studies, and initiatives related to improving and promoting energy efficiency in developing countries, as well as opportunities, barriers, and the way forward. Organized by the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy in collaboration with various Austrian government ministries, the meeting brought together representatives from governments, agencies, UN bodies and international organizations, academia, business and industry, civil society and financing institutions. Expert panels focused on various topics, including scenarios for developing countries, energy efficiency and industrial development, carbon finance, investing in energy efficiency, and connections to poverty reduction in urban and rural areas. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
UNGA ADOPTS CLIMATE CHANGE RESOLUTION

On 19 November 2007, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) met at UN headquarters in New York, US, to take action on a draft resolution (A/62/L.11/Rev.1) submitted by UNGA President Srgjan Kerim, requesting the Secretary-General to prepare a comprehensive report of the UN systems' activities in relation to climate change. UN member States adopted the resolution without a vote. The resolution originates from the consensus reached during the general debate of the 62nd UNGA session, under the theme “Responding to Climate Change,” to develop a global response to climate change. The report is expected to provide an important input for the thematic debate on climate change scheduled for early February 2008. Links to further information UN Press release, 19 November 2007 Letter from UNGA President Kerim, containing draft resolutio..., 16 November 2007
OPEC SUMMIT DISCUSSES CLIMATE CHANGE

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is “part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem,” according to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Yvo de Boer. In a recent speech, de Boer stressed the ongoing “pivotal role” of oil in the global energy mix for many decades to come, and the need for appropriate technology development and deployment. He also stressed the importance of a global political solution for the post-2012 period, after the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires. De Boer offered these comments during a high-level OPEC Seminar held in mid-November, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, just before the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of OPEC Member Countries, which took place in Riyadh from 17-18 November. Summit participants adopted a “Riyadh Declaration,” which reaffirms the inalienable and permanent sovereign rights of member countries over their natural resources, while also committing members to conserve, efficiently manage and prolong the exploitation of their exhaustible petroleum resources and to promote the sustainable development and welfare of future generations. The Declaration also contains a section on the environment and climate change in particular, which highlights the upcoming 13th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, which will take place in Bali in December 2007. The section highlights the role of forests in the carbon cycle, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the importance of cleaner and more efficient petroleum technologies and technologies that address climate change (such as carbon capture and storage), and the need to ensure that all policies and measures to address climate change concerns are both balanced and comprehensive, taking into account their impact on oil-exporting developing countries. The Summit also was reported to have generated pledges for US$ 750 million for research into climate change technology. Links to further information Yvo de Boer's statement, 15 November 2007 Riyadh Declaration, 18 November 2007 Washington Post News Story, 19 November 2007
IPCC FINALIZES FOURTH ASSESSMENT REPORT

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded its 27th session after finalizing its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The session, which was held from 12-17 November 2007, in Valencia, Spain, marked the culmination of several years' work by finalizing the Synthesis Report of the AR4. Having completed the reports of its three working groups earlier in 2007, the IPCC session in Valencia saw the adoption, after lengthy negotiations, of both the Summary for Policymakers of the Synthesis Report and a longer version of the Report. Discussions on the texts focused primarily on what should be included in the shorter version, with debates over how the text from the earlier working group reports should be used in the condensed summary. The 23-page final draft of the Summary for Policymakers contains sections on the observed changes in climate and their effects, the causes of change, projected climate change and its impacts, adaptation and mitigation options, and the long-term perspective. After establishing the “unequivocal” warming of the climate system and the “very likely” impact of anthropogenic emissions, the report outlines a wide range of adaptation and mitigation options. The report suggests that neither adaptation nor mitigation alone can avoid all climate change impacts, but that they can complement each other and together can significantly reduce the risks of climate change. At the end of the session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a statement to delegates where he described climate change as “the defining challenge of our age.” He urged policymakers to start devising a comprehensive deal for tackling the problem at the upcoming UN conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December, and called for a “grand bargain” between industrialized and developing nations. Welcoming the IPCC report, Greenpeace issued a statement that the IPCC had given a “stark warning” on the need for strong action by governments in negotiations in Bali. The Fourth Assessment Report is widely expected to have a significant impact on the Bali conference. Links to further information IISD RS coverage of IPCC-27 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Summary for Policymakers (fin..., 16 November 2007 IPCC: additional information, 17 November 2007 UN News Centre report, 17 November 2007 Greenpeace press release, 17 November 2007
LONDON CONVENTION PARTIES ADDRESS CARBON DIOXIDE CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION

The 29th Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention) and second meeting of Contracting Parties to the 1996 Protocol thereto (London Protocol) was held in London, UK, from 5-9 November 2007. After considering a report from their scientific advisers, parties decided that large-scale fertilization of the oceans using micro-nutrients to sequester carbon dioxide is currently not justified, as the state of knowledge about the effectiveness and potential environmental impacts of such activities is currently insufficient. The meeting also completed the Guidelines for assessment of carbon dioxide capture and storage in sub-seabed geological formations. Link to further information IMO Press Release, 16 November 2007

October 2007

MINISTERS DISCUSS FUTURE COMMITMENTS IN BOGOR

A meeting of environment ministers convened in Bogor, Indonesia, in the lead up to the UN climate change conference in Bali in December 2007. The meeting, which took place on 25 October 2007, considered the need to conclude negotiations by 2009 on a deal for the post-2012 period. The informal meeting was attended by almost 40 countries, and is considered one of several key meetings in the lead up to the thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the third Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, taking place in Bali. Participants were reported to have generally agreed that the building blocks of mitigation, adaptation, technology, and investment and finance are at the core of a post-2012 framework, that they need to be built upon and expanded, and that equal weight must be given to adaptation and mitigation and special issues such has deforestation and forest degradation. Other issues discussed included the need to: be guided by a shared vision based on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report; continue to work within the current framework; give content to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the design of the post-2012 framework; have Annex I Parties accept that they should continue to take the lead; respect economic growth objectives; aim at broader engagement by developing countries through incentives and further developing the concept of sustainable development policies and measures; agree to aim to complete work on a post-2012 framework by 2009; and assure the continuation of the CDM beyond 2012. However, some reports from the meeting noted some differences of opinion on many key issues. Links to further information Antara news service (Indonesia), 26 October 2007 ENN/Reuters, 25 October 2007 Third World Network Climate Info. Service, 2 November 2007
WORLD BANK AND IMF ANNUAL MEETINGS ADDRESS POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGIES, CLIMATE CHANGE AND AFRICAN AGRICULTURE

The Development Committee, a joint ministerial committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), met on 21 October 2007 in Washington DC, US, during the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF. Among the issues highlighted by the Committee were the “need to sharpen the focus of poverty reduction strategies on stronger, shared, private sector-led growth, to link these strategies better to budgetary frameworks, and to implement them effectively.” They also emphasized the importance of relying on country-based models and strong country ownership for improving aid effectiveness and harmonization, and called on donors to meet their respective commitments to scale up aid for development, improve aid predictability and address financing gaps for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Regarding clean energy and climate change, the Committee asked the World Bank to increase its support for access to modern, cost-effective, clean energy, especially among the poorest and in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to develop a strategic framework for Bank Group engagement in climate change, including support for developing countries' efforts to adapt to climate change and to achieve low-carbon growth while reducing poverty. World Bank President Robert Zoellick also told the Development Committee that “We need a 21st century ‘green revolution' designed for the special and diverse needs of Africa,” and promoted initiatives to boost Africa's agriculture sector by investing in land management, strengthening local markets and encouraging private investments in the sector. Links to further information IMF/World Bank Development Committee Communiqué, 21 October 2007 World Bank Clean Energy for Development Investment Framework..., 28 September 2007 JapanToday.com News Story, 22 October 2007
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES' ROLE IN COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE EXPLORED

A World Bank seminar has explored the critical role developing countries are set to play in contributing to climate change, and also how to involve these countries in solving the problem. The seminar on “Low Carbon, High Hopes: Making Climate Action Work for Development,” was held on 19 October 2007, in Washington DC, US, during the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund. High-level participants from the UN, government, civil society and business attended. IUCN-the World Conservation Union President Valli Moosa told participants that the “Group of 77” developing country bloc would not move towards targets without the “meaningful movement of the US.” Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, depicted the upcoming Bali conference in December as critical for establishing a timetable on the specifics of what needs to be done, and said pressure would be on the US and other OECD countries to take the lead in climate change mitigation. He added: “There are three critical mistakes we could make. The first is to assume that climate change is an environmental issue that economists can afford to ignore. The second is to assume that established funds and throwing money at the problem is enough to solve it. The third is to assume that a climate friendly future could be built without looking at tax and investment policies in developing countries.” Links to further information World Bank News story, 20 October 2007 Reuters/PlanetArk news, 22 October 2007
KYOTO BOARDS MEET IN BONN

The Executive Board of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has convened for its 35th session in Bonn, Germany. The Board, which met from 15-19 October 2007, focused on its work plan, including the accreditation of operational entities, methodologies for baselines and monitoring plans, afforestation and reforestation project activities, small-scale project activities, and the issuance of certified emission reductions. The meeting also considered a management plan and various resource issues, as well as a variety of other matters, such as relations with relevant stakeholders. The Supervisory Committee of the Joint Implementation (JI) mechanism convened its eighth meeting, from 18-19 October, at the same venue. In discussions on its work plan, the Committee considered the accreditation of independent entities, project design documents, and a management plan and resource issues. The Committee also considered its report to the December 2007 Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and collaboration with other relevant groups. Links to further information CDM Executive Board 35th meeting webpage, October 2007 Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee 8th meeting webpa..., October 2007
UNGA DEBATE FOCUSES ON MDGs, CLIMATE CHANGE, FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT

The general debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Second Committee (Economic and Financial) convened from 8-10 October 2007, at UN headquarters, New York, US, with Chair Kirsti Lintonen (Finland) noting that the Committee's primary concern was to ensure that the international community took appropriate steps towards equitable, sustainable development in all countries, and particularly achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Highlighting the “implementation gap” on the path towards attaining the MDGs, Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General, cited the new MDG Africa Steering Group established by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon aimed to improve aid predictability and effectiveness, and to forge stronger country-level programmes. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, suggested that a global response to climate change should include innovative financing mechanisms and better avenues for the transfer of cleaner technologies. Several speakers stressed the need for debt cancellation, reform of the international financial architecture, and urgent attention to the causes and effects of climate change in order to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. Links to further information UN Press release, 8 October 2007 UN Press release, 9 October 2007 UN Press release, 10 October 2007
MEETING ON BUNKER FUEL EMISSONS NOTES INSTITUTIONAL RATHER THAN TECHNICAL BARRIERS

A technical workshop on emissions from aviation and maritime transport, hosted by the Norwegian government, brought together more than 90 participants, representing government, business, academia, and UN agencies, in Oslo, Norway, from 4-5 October 2007. The main aim of the workshop was to discuss technical and other barriers related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aviation and maritime transport, including to: enhance the monitoring and reporting of such emissions; improve data availability and quality; and explore methodological challenges. Conclusions from the workshop included the assessment that accurate data is available in both sectors, however, institutional and resource-based barriers exist to the monitoring and reporting of GHG emissions from international shipping, and policy measures are needed to implement technical requirements in the aviation sector. Link to further information IISD RS Coverage
UNWTO CONFERENCE DECLARATION CALLS ON TOURISM SECTOR TO RESPOND TO CLIMATE CHANGE

The second International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, organized by the UN World Tourism Organization, the UN Environment Programme and the UN World Meteorological Organization, convened in Davos, Switzerland, from 3-5 October 2007. The overall aim of the meeting was to determine future action on mitigation, adaptation, the global carbon market and financing responses to climate change for the post-2012 period. The Davos Declaration adopted at the meeting states, among other things, that “the tourism sector must rapidly respond to climate change, within the evolving UN framework, if it is to grow in a sustainable manner.” The Davos Declaration and the conclusions of the meeting will be presented at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007. Link to further information UNWTO Press release, 3 October 2007
WORLD LEADERS RAISE CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUE AT UNGA DEBATE

The General Debate of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) convened from 25 September-3 October 2007 at UN headquarters in New York, US, gathering more than 190 heads of State and other high-level political leaders of all UN member States. Many speakers discussed the upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007, urging participants to agree on a clear road map for establishing a future global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to succeed the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. In addition, Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva offered to host a summit on the environment in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, entitled the Rio +20 Conference, two decades after the landmark international UN Conference on Environment and Development. Link to further information UN Webcasts, 25 September-3 October 2007
EUROPEAN POLITICIANS URGE BINDING EMISSIONS TARGETS, BALI SUCCESS

Parliamentarians from across the European Union have urged internationally-binding targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, fair international burden sharing and a successful outcome to the UN conference in Bali in December 2007. The first “Joint Parliamentary Meeting on Climate Change: Rising to the Challenge” was organized by the European Parliament and the Portuguese Assembleia da República, and took place in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, from 1-2 October 2007. More than 200 members of the European Parliament and national parliaments of the European Union participated in the event, which focused on such issues as climate change adaptation, strategies and best practices for renewable energies, and emissions from the building sector. Reflecting on the upcoming Bali conference, key speakers cautioned again complacency: “A positive outcome of the Bali conference is by no means certain,” said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, adding that “it would be necessary to negotiate an international agreement for the post-Kyoto period until the end of 2009 to ensure continuity with our current system.” He also announced that the European Commission will propose a “comprehensive package” of measures in December, including aviation in the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Meanwhile, one key speaker said the EU could go beyond its current stated commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. “It is possible [for developed countries] to go further than that,” said Nunes Correira, Portuguese Minister for Environment, Spatial Planning and Regional Development. He added that developing countries should also take “more responsibility” where possible, and said the Bali conference should reach “a global and broad agreement for 2009.” Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas commented on the US approach of non-mandatory, aspirational targets, which he said “guarantees no real solution to the problem.” Links to further information Meeting website, October 2007 EU press release, 2 October 2007 EU press release, 1 October 2007
UNESCO DEBATE CONSIDERS KNOWLEDGE SOCIETIES AND CLIMATE CHANGE

A thematic debate on The Construction of Knowledge Societies and Climate Change, organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Executive Board, took place in Paris, France, on 2 October 2007. Speakers included, among others, Environment and Technology Ministers from France and Portugal, as well as a representative from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, said that the two emerging challenges of constructing knowledge societies and climate change will become key elements of UNESCO's future actions. Several speakers insisted that the development of knowledge societies required “close cooperation among the members of the United Nations family,” and emphasized UNESCO's rare capacity to act in an interdisciplinary fashion and target both institutions and people. Link to further information UNESCO Press release, 2 October 2007

September 2007

AIRLINE EMISSIONS DISPUTE SURFACES

Differences over measures to control greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector have been reported at a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The 36th session of ICAO is taking place in Montreal, Canada, from 18-28 September 2007. According to reports, the US is opposing plans to include foreign airlines in its emissions trading scheme. However, the European Commission intends to pursue its proposal to include flights coming into and out of EU countries from elsewhere. Links to further information Official ICAO website, September 2007 AFP report, 18 September 2007 ENN/Reuters, 21 September 2007
SEMINAR CONSIDERS ENERGY EFFICIENCY, RENEWABLES IN FORMER SOVIET BLOC

A seminar organized by the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) and other organizations has considered the prospects for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly republics of the Soviet Union). The meeting, which took place from 27-28 September 2007, in Kiev, Ukraine, involved discussions about the technical and financial aspects of project development to “realize the full potential of existing technologies and financing opportunities.” Participants considered successful projects and potential projects being developed in the region. The seminar involved sessions on prospects for energy efficiency technologies and prospects for renewable energy technologies, as well as on innovative financing and on cooperation among key sectors. Link to further information IISD Reporting Services coverage
US HOSTS MEETING OF MAJOR CARBON EMITTERS

The Bush administration has hosted a “Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change.” The meeting, which took place in Washington, DC, on 27-28 September 2007, was attended by officials from 16 major industrialized and developing countries. The meeting involved discussions on technological options and responses to climate change, sectoral opportunities, and long-term “aspirational” goals for reducing emissions. The host country took the opportunity to outline its actions and vision for combating climate change, and delegates agreed to hold a further meeting after the UN conference in Bali in December 2007. However, continuing differences were reported between the US and those favoring a voluntary approach, with the EU and others supporting mandatory targets. Conservation group WWF criticized the event, arguing that the US should not distract the global community from its focus on achieving an agreement under the UN: “American leadership on climate change should not begin by the President creating a rival to the UN agreement. His support of the UN process is clearly only lip service,” stated WWF's Hans Verolme. “If the Bush Administration wanted to do the planet a favor it should announce a strong national programme to cut carbon pollution instead of holding more conferences.” Links to further information Meeting website, September 2007 Chair's Summary, 28 September 2007 US President George Bush's speech to the meeting, 28 September 2007 WWF press release, 28 September 2007 Greenwire/WBCSD news story, 1 October 2007
SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM DISCUSSES MONTREAL PROTOCOL IMPACTS AND IMPLICATIONS

The UN Environment Programme, World Meteorological Organization and others invited a core group of speakers who have played an important role in the success of the Montreal Protocol to a scientific symposium in Athens on 26 September 2007. Participants presented state of the art scientific results and discussed the success of the Montreal Protocol implementation. In an “Athens Statement,” participants highlighted the “Impact of Climate Change – Ozone Climate Interactions” and “Implications for Policy Formulation,” including their finding that it is “imperative to develop similar cooperative relationships between scientific, industrial and environmental organizations and policy makers to develop effective approaches to environmental threats in the ‘anthroposcene' era.” Link to further information Athens Statement
UN Holds “Largest-Ever” Leaders' Meeting on Climate Change

September 2007: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has convened the largest-ever meeting of global political leaders on climate change. The event, which took place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 24 September 2007, was attended by 80 heads of State or Government, and representatives from 150 countries. The event involved four plenary sessions focused on adaptation, mitigation, technology and financing. The meeting was entitled, “The Future in our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change.” “Today I heard a clear call from world leaders for a breakthrough on climate change in Bali,” Ban said at the conclusion of the meeting. The next major meeting on climate change will take in Bali in December 2007, when negotiators at the 13th session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will seek to agree on a framework for reaching agreement on combating climate change after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period ends. “We have come a long way in building understanding and a new consensus this year. More remains to be done, but this event has sent a powerful political signal to the world, and to the Bali conference, that there is the will, and the determination, at the highest level, to break with the past and act decisively,” Ban said. A Chair's summary of the 24 September meeting stressed the “clear call from world leaders for a breakthrough on climate change in Bali” and highlighted the need for swift action. It also noted the need to: make the Adaptation Fund operational as quickly as possible; achieve the Millennium Development Goals; halve emissions by 2050; limit temperature increase to 2°C; make deep emission reductions in industrialized countries; minimize emissions from deforestation; support and scale-up technological solutions and cooperation; improve energy efficiency; ensure that adequate resources are available for developing countries to combat climate change; and strengthen the Clean Development Mechanism. The Chair's summary concluded by noting that this event was not intended as an occasion for negotiations, but was meant to express the political will of world leaders at the highest level to tackle the problem. The summary added that the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Bali should be the “starting point for intense negotiations driven by an agreed agenda.” It stressed that these negotiations should be comprehensive, inclusive, and lead to a single multilateral framework, and that all other processes or initiatives should be compatible with the UNFCCC process and feed into it. While many world leaders attended this event, some media reports noted the absence of US President George Bush, who is hosting a meeting on climate change on 27 September, in Washington, DC. Links to further information Official event website Chair's Summary, 24 September 2007 UN news releases/reports from the event BBC news report, 24 September 2007
MONTREAL PROTOCOL REACHES HISTORIC COMPROMISE

The Nineteenth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP-19) convened from 17-21 September 2007, in Montreal, Canada. Delegates reached agreement on numerous issues, including on an accelerated phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and on critical and essential-use exemptions from the phaseouts of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and methyl bromide. The agreement on HCFCs, which moved up the phase-out date for both developing and industrialized countries by a decade, is being hailed as an important step in reducing the production of chemicals that are both potent ozone depletors and greenhouse gases. Moreover, the issue has received international attention because a byproduct of HCFC production is a powerful greenhouse gas that, under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, has inadvertently encouraged the production of HCFCs. Links to further information IISD RS coverage UN New Centre Release, 22 September 2007 Reuters News Release, 22 September 2007 CBC News Release, 22 September 2007 The Telegraph article, 23 September 2007 BBC story, 24 September 2007
REFORM AGENDA AND CLIMATE CHANGE TOUCHED UPON AS UNGA ENDS 61ST SESSION, OPENS 62ND

On 17 September 2007, the 61st session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) formally ended with outgoing President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa handing over the gavel to President-elect Srgjan Kerim. In her concluding remarks, Sheikha Haya commended Member States' willingness to modernize the UN by, inter alia, finalizing the consultations that recommended concrete options to strengthen International Environmental Governance. She also noted that the consultations on System-wide Coherence had made some progress, emphasizing that Member States were less divided on substance than on the process itself. A few days earlier, Sheikha Haya had indicated in a letter to Member States that no agreement had been reached on the follow-up on the report entitled Recommendations contained in the Report of the High-level Panel on UN System-Wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment: Report of the Secretary-General, proposing that UNGA adopt a decision ensuring that the consultations continue during its 62nd session. On 18 September 2007, Srgjan Kerim officially opened the 62nd session of UNGA, remarking that true revitalization of UNGA will only happen if all Member States jointly address five priority issues: climate change; financing for development; achieving the Millennium Development Goals; counter-terrorism; and renewing UN management, effectiveness and coherence. Links to further information UNGA President's statement, 17 September 2007 UNGA President's letter, 14 September 2007 UNGA Press release, 18 September 2007
MONTREAL PROTOCOL CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

The twentieth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was commemorated on Sunday, 16 September 2007. In honor of the milestone, the UN declared the day “International Ozone Day” and held a seminar entitled “Celebrating 20 Years of Progress.” The day's celebrations included a range of panel discussions on the accomplishments of the past two decades and the challenges that remain. Links to further information IISD's coverage of celebratory seminar, 17 September 2007 UN News Centre article, 16 September 2007 Christian Science Monitor article, 17 September 2007 New York Times article, 18 September 2007 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration article, September 2007
CDM BOARD APPROVES FOSSIL FUEL EFFICIENCY RULES

The UNFCCC Secretariat has reported that, during the 34th meeting of the Clean Development Mechanism's (CDM) Executive Board, which was held in Bonn, Germany, from 12-14 September 2007, the Board approved a methodology that opens the way for projects that improve the “burning efficiency of fossil fuels.” According to the Secretariat, the Board was able to find a way to prevent such projects from inadvertently prolonging the use of fossil fuels or of competing against renewable sources of energy. Links to further information UNFCCC press statement, 14 September 2007 Meeting website, September 2007
ADAPTATION WORKSHOP CONSIDERS WORK PROGRAMME

The Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has held a workshop on adaptation planning and practices under the Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change (NWP). The workshop, which took place at UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 10-12 September 2007, focused on adaptation planning and practices, one of the nine areas of work under the NWP. The workshop aimed to identify action pledges from organizations to fill capacity gaps and address challenges and develop recommendations in adaptation planning and practice. The report of the workshop will be forwarded to the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) for consideration at its 28th session in June 2008. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
APEC AGREES NON-BINDING CLIMATE DECLARATION

Leaders of countries belonging to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum have agreed on “aspirational,” non-binding goals on climate change. The agreement, which was reached at the 15th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting held in Sydney, Australia from 8-9 September 2007, outlines various elements that should underpin an equitable and effective post-2012 international agreement, including “comprehensiveness,” respect for different domestic circumstances and capacities, flexibility, the important role for low and zero emissions energy sources and technologies, forests and land use, promotion of open trade and investment, and effective adaptation strategies. The agreement calls for the world to “slow, stop and then reverse the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions.” It also welcomes the initiative by the US to convene a group of major economies to seek agreement on a detailed contribution to a post-2012 arrangement under the UNFCCC. The agreement also outlines a series of “aspirational” goals for reducing energy intensity, increasing forest cover, and strengthening regional cooperation. However, some groups criticized APEC for agreeing only limited, non-binding measures. Links to further information APEC 2007 outcome documents Greenpeace critique of APEC outcome
DPI/NGO CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The Sixtieth Annual DPI/NGO Conference, organized by the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) in cooperation with associated non-governmental organizations (NGOs), was entitled Climate Change: How it Affects us All. The event brought together 2,500 civil society representatives from 90 countries at UN Headquarters, New York, US, from 5-7 September 2007. Various plenary sessions, roundtables and workshops reviewed the latest scientific evidence on climate change, including its impact on vulnerable populations, water security, land use, and the politics of energy. In a Conference Declaration, the participants committed themselves to a Framework for Action over the next year that would propose NGO solutions on, inter alia, developing and implementing plans for adaptation and mitigation. Links to further information UN News release, 5 July 2007 Conference Declaration 60th DPI/NGO Conference website

August 2007

VIENNA CLIMATE TALKS TAKE “SUCCESSFUL STEP” TOWARDS BALI

The fourth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (AWG 4) and the fourth workshop under the “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention” (Convention Dialogue) took place from 27-31 August 2007, in Vienna, Austria. The AWG and Convention Dialogue were established by decisions taken during the eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the first Conference of the Parties serving as a Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 1) in Montreal in late 2005. At those meetings, delegates discussed a range of issues relevant for a framework for the post-2012 period (when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period ends) and long-term cooperative action on climate change. The fourth Convention Dialogue workshop focused on bringing together ideas from the previous workshops and addressing overarching and cross-cutting issues, including financing. The workshop was generally perceived as useful and constructive, with delegates elaborating on building blocks for long-term cooperative action on climate change and next steps to take the process forward. After this fourth and final workshop, the co-facilitators will give their report on the entire workshop series to COP 13 in December 2007. The fourth session of the AWG focused on the analysis of mitigation potentials and the identification of possible ranges of emission reductions for Annex I parties. After lengthy informal consultations, the AWG adopted conclusions referring, among other things, to some of the key findings by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including that global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak in the next ten to fifteen years and be reduced well below half of 2000 levels by the middle of the 21st century in order to stabilize their concentrations in the atmosphere at the lowest levels assessed by the IPCC to date in its scenarios. The AWG's conclusions also recognize that to achieve the lowest stabilization level, Annex I parties as a group would be required to reduce emissions by a range of 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020. The Vienna meeting was generally seen as a successful step towards constructive negotiations on the post-2012 framework at COP 13 and COP/MOP 3, widely anticipated to be some of the key meetings in the UNFCCC process. Link to further information IISD RS coverage of the Conference
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOLDS INFORMAL CLIMATE DEBATE

An informal thematic debate of the UN General Assembly has been held on the subject of “Climate change as a global challenge.” The discussion, which took place from 31 July-2 August 2007, at UN headquarters in New York, US, involved panel sessions of experts, as well as statements from dozens of government representatives. The event focused on both the adaptation and mitigation aspects of climate change, as well as on the UN negotiations designed to reach an agreement for the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period ends. A number of speakers said the high-level event on 24 September 2007 called by the UN Secretary-General should provide political momentum for an agreement at the Bali conference in December 2007 on a “roadmap” for completing post-2012 negotiations by 2009. The urgency of the climate change problem and the importance of equity, fairness and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in developing a future agreement were also underscored by many speakers. A number of member states also affirmed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the appropriate forum for negotiations. Link to further information IISD Reporting Services Briefing Note

July 2007

GLOBAL COMPACT SUMMIT URGES CLIMATE AGREEMENT, ADOPTS DECLARATION ON RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS PRACTICES

The second UN Global Compact Leaders Summit gathered more than 1000 participants from business, government and civil society in Geneva, Switzerland, from 5-6 July 2007. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who chairs the UN Global Compact Board, opened the meeting by remarking that the Global Compact has lived up to its promise to bring business together with other stakeholders, as well as to infuse markets and economies with universal values. The Leaders Summit, which is the largest event convened by the UN on the issue of corporate citizenship, launched a number of new initiatives and projects, including: a Business Leadership Platform on climate change; a set of Principles for Responsible Management Education; and a CEO Water Mandate. In their statement on climate change, business leaders urged governments to take “urgent and extensive action” to avoid the risk of serious damage to global prosperity. The statement commits more than 150 business leaders to take on voluntary targets to increase energy efficiency and reduce their carbon burden, and urges governments to provide a “robust global policy framework” for combating climate change. In addition, three landmark studies from the UN Global Compact, McKinsey and Goldman Sachs that were released argue that integrating corporate responsibility and related environmental, social and governance policies into management practices delivers long-term business value. Participants also adopted the ‘Geneva Declaration,' pledging to comply with labor, human rights, environmental and anti-corruption standards. Links to further information UN Global Compact Press release, 5 July 2007 UN Global Compact Press release, 6 July 2007 UN News release, 6 July 2007 The Geneva Declaration Caring for Climate: The Business Leadership Platform (Summit...
UNIDO HOSTS MEETING ON REPLACING CFC-BASED CHILLERS

The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) hosted an expert group meeting in Vienna, Austria, from 2-4 July 2007, addressing the barriers to replacing CFC-based chillers. Discussions focused on the necessary technologies, financial mechanisms and regulatory support needed to transition to more energy-efficient and ozone-friendly chillers. Link to further information IISD RS coverage

June 2007

BALI CLIMATE CONFERENCE PROSPECTS BOOSTED BY G-8, SWEDISH MINISTERIAL MEETING

Two high-level meetings have contributed support for launching negotiations on a post-2012 climate change agreement at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) meetings scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007. The G-8 Summit, which took place in Heiligendamm, Germany, from 6-8 June 2007, resulted in a communiqué that agreed on the UN climate process as the appropriate forum for negotiating future global action on climate change, and called on all parties to “actively and constructively participate in the UN Climate Change Conference in Indonesia in December 2007 with a view to achieving a comprehensive post 2012-agreement (post Kyoto-agreement) that should include all major emitters.” The communiqué also called on the major emitting countries to “agree on a detailed contribution for a new global framework by the end of 2008 which would contribute to a global agreement under the UNFCCC by 2009.”). UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer welcomed the communiqué, stating “This is a breakthrough in terms of making progress towards an enhanced future climate change regime and will send important signals to developing countries on the readiness of industrialized nations and emerging economies to act.” Following the G-8 Summit, an informal meeting on climate change was held in Riksgränsen, Sweden, attended by environment ministers and high level representatives from 28 countries. In his post-meeting report, Swedish Minister of the Environment Andreas Carlgren, who chaired the event, noted broad consensus that the Bali conference should establish a “Road Map” with a timetable and concrete steps for the negotiations with a view to reach an agreement by 2009. Participants indicated broad agreement on intensifying concrete action under the Convention, giving priority to adaptation, and stressing the key role of technology transfer and deployment. The meeting, which took place from 11-14 June 2007, was the third of its kind, with the first being held in Greenland in 2005 and the second in South Africa in 2006. Argentina is expected to host the next informal ministerial meeting in 2008. Links to further information G-8 Chair's Summary, 8 June 2007 UNFCCC Executive Secretary's press release, 7 June 2007 Swedish ministerial meeting website and outcomes, 15 June 2007
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATIONS ADDRESS BIODIVERSITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND COMMUNITY ACTION

On the occasion of World Environment Day, several events were held in Berlin, Germany, on 5 June 2007. Participants from politics, business and civil society attended a press conference conveying a message to the G8 summit, convening 6-9 June 2007 in Heiligendamm, Germany, a policy dialogue on strategic opportunities and priority actions for G8 members and global leaders to build upon synergies between the climate change and biodiversity agendas, and the 2006 Equator Prize award ceremony. The message to the G8 summit calls on G8 leaders to take leadership for renewed commitments to climate change and biodiversity conservation. The policy dialogue addressed policies such as compensation for avoided deforestation and a review of the economic impacts of biodiversity loss. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
OZONE MEETINGS WRAP UP IN NAIROBI

The Dialogue on key future challenges faced by the Montreal Protocol (the Dialogue) was held 2-3 June 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants offered comments on funding options for continued monitoring and scientific assessment activities, combating illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances (ODS), and the future of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. They also considered: an accelerated phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs); the possibility of capping the quantity of methyl bromide for quarantine and preshipment uses; banks of ODS; essential-use exemptions for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs); and critical use exemptions for methyl bromide. The 27th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (OEWG-27) was held 4-7 June 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya. Parties forwarded numerous draft decisions to the nineteenth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP-19), which will convene in Montreal, Canada, from 17-21 September 2007, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. The draft decisions address, inter alia: essential use exemptions, the laboratory and analytical use exemption, process agents, replenishment of the Multilateral Fund, systems for monitoring transboundary movements of ODS, and refinement of the institutional arrangements of the Montreal Protocol. Parties also considered proposals to reduce the frequency of meetings and to adjust the Protocol with respect to the phase-out of HCFCs. Links to further information Documents of the Dialogue on Key Future Challenges Summary of the 27th OEWG, June 2007

May 2007

UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES CONCLUDE WORK IN BONN

The twenty-sixth sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have ended in Bonn, Germany. These meetings, which took place from 7-18 May 2007, were held alongside the third session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG), as well as the third workshop under the Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention. The Subsidiary Bodies worked on issues such as the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, the development and transfer of technologies, reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, the Adaptation Fund, and the 2008-2009 budget. These meetings resulted in 27 conclusions and six draft decisions that will be forwarded to the thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-13) and third Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP-3), which will take place in December 2007 in Bali, Indonesia. Four workshops were also held in Bonn, addressing a proposal by the Russian Federation relating to voluntary commitments and three mitigation-related topics. The Bonn events sought to provide a forum to discuss a framework for the post-2012 period when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period ends, and cleared some of the more technical and routine issues necessary to make time for more important issues in Bali. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
MAYORS URGE CLIMATE DEAL IN BALI, G8 PLEDGE

The next major round of UN climate negotiations in Bali in December 2007 should kick-start talks on a deal for the post-2012 period, according to leaders from the world's major cities. The announcement came during a gathering of majors from many of the world's largest cities, held in New York, US, from 14-17 May 2007. The Climate Leadership Group's “C40 Large Cities Climate Summit” also resulted in a call for G8 leaders to agree on a long-term goal to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations. Links to further information The C40 Summit Communique, 16 May 2007 C40 Summit website
CSD-15 Concludes Without Adopting Negotiated Text

May 2007: The fifteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15) convened from 30 April-11 May 2007, at UN headquarters in New York, US. Building on the outcomes of CSD-14 (a “Review Year”), CSD-15 focused on identifying policies and options to expedite the implementation of commitments in the areas of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change. Delegates convened for interactive discussions, heard regional perspectives and input from representatives of UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), Major Groups and others, and listened to statements from ministers and senior officials during a high-level segment. A Partnerships Fair, Learning Center and numerous side events were also held throughout the two-week session. Delegates also attempted to negotiate a document to identify policy options to further the thematic issues under discussion. Notwithstanding numerous formal and informal meetings, closed “Friends of the Chair” sessions and extensive discussions, as the scheduled close of the meeting approached there remained numerous unresolved issues in the energy for sustainable development and climate change sections of the document. Chair Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah (Qatar) presented a compromise document on Friday evening on a “take it or leave it” basis, but after regional consultations, the EU and Switzerland rejected it on the basis that it did not address the challenges in the thematic areas, meet world expectations or add value. The meeting closed at 8:45 pm with no adopted outcome document. The Chair announced that, in lieu of a negotiated outcome, a “Chair's Summary” of CSD-15 would be issued the following week. At the close of CSD-15, the first meeting of CSD-16 convened to select its Chair and Bureau. Francis Nhema, Minister of Environment and Tourism of Zimbabwe, was elected as CSD-16 Chair by a narrow margin on a secret ballot. [IISD RS coverage]
IPCC EMPHASIZES POTENTIAL TO MITIGATE GLOBAL EMISSIONS

The ninth session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III (WGIII) met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 30 April-4 May 2007, followed by the 26th session of the IPCC on 4 May. The meeting resulted in the acceptance of WGIII's contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, titled “Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change,” including approval of the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) and acceptance of the underlying report and technical summary. The key findings of the SPM emphasize that greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 70% since 1970 and that, with current policies, their growth is projected to continue over the next few decades. The SPM identifies substantial economic potential to mitigate global emissions in the short, medium and long term, and points to mitigation opportunities in several sectors. Link to further information IISD RS coverage
IPCC WORKING GROUP III UNDERWAY IN BANGKOK

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is currently holding a meeting of Working Group III in Bangkok, Thailand, to finalize the Group's contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The meeting, which is taking place from 30 April – 3 May, follows meetings of Working Groups I and II earlier in 2007, which finalized reports on the “physical science basis” and “impacts, adaptation and vulnerability,” respectively. Working Group III focuses on mitigation of climate change through limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing activities that remove them from the atmosphere. The Group's draft report analyzes mitigation options for the main sectors in the near-term, addressing also cross-sectorial matters such as synergies, co-benefits and trade-offs. In addition, it provides information on long-term mitigation strategies for various concentration stabilization levels. The Working Group's meeting will be followed on 4 May 2007 by a session of the full IPCC, which is expected to accept the contributions of all three Groups to the AR4. Work on AR4 is expected to conclude at a session of the IPCC scheduled to take place in Valencia, Spain, in November 2007. Link to further information IISD RS coverage

April 2007

CLIMATE CHANGE CONSULTATIONS HELD IN AFRICA

A series of consultations designed to help “facilitate an African civil society voice on the response to climate change” have taken place in Nairobi, Dakar and Pretoria. The meetings, held between 16 and 22 April 2007, were arranged by LEAD International, in partnership with a number of other organizations. The meetings tackled climate issues in three sub-regions—East, West, and Southern Africa. The events coincided with an online discussion, and will be presented during a side event at the 15th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Link to further information LEAD Climate Change in Africa website
IMO'S SUB-COMMITTEE REVIEWS REGULATION ON REDUCING AIR POLLUTION FROM SHIPS

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases (BLG) met for its 11th session from 16-20 April 2007 in London, UK. The BLG made progress on the review of the Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships' (MARPOL) regulations and implementation timeframes to reduce NOx emission limits for new and existing engines, and volatile organic compounds. Participants also discussed sulphur and fuel oil quality, and emission trading. Other agenda items included: the application of requirements for the carriage of biofuels and biofuel blends; draft guidelines for uniform implementation of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments; safety for gas¬fuelled engine installations in ships; and the prevention of marine pollution during oil transfer operations between ships at sea. In light of the large number of proposals considered by the sub-committee, IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos will propose that a cross government/industry scientific group evaluate their overall effects and submit the results of their study to the forthcoming fifty-sixth session of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee, scheduled for July 2007. Link to further information IMO Briefing, 26 April 2007
SECURITY COUNCIL ADDRESSES CLIMATE CHANGE

The UN Security Council has discussed climate change for the first time. The meeting, held on 17 April, focused on the impact of climate change on peace and security. Over 50 participants spoke. Some delegates, including China and Pakistan, which spoke for the “Group of 77” developing countries, raised doubts regarding the Council's role on this issue, with some suggesting that it was primarily a socio-economic and/or sustainable development issue that should be addressed by the General Assembly. However, many others, particularly small island states, welcomed the Council's discussions. Many speakers also urged the UN to give urgent consideration to holding a global summit on climate change. The Security Council discussion was requested by the UK and chaired by its Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett. She labeled climate change a global security issue, noting scientific evidence reinforcing fears that climate change would bring about large-scale migration due to flooding, disease and famine, as well as increased competition for food, water and energy. Participants also discussed such issues as the recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the upcoming negotiations in Bali in late 2007 on the post-2012 framework for addressing climate change when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires, and the needs of the most vulnerable countries, including small island states, states with large coastal populations, and least developed countries. The European Union reiterated its recent unilateral commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, and to increase this to 30 percent if other developed countries took similar steps.

Links to further information UN Security Council news release and summary of all statemen..., 17 April 2007 BBC news report, 18 April 2007 CNN/AP news report, 17 April 2007 VOA news report, 17 April 2007
WORKSHOP ADDRESSES REDUCING EMISSIONS FROM TROPICAL DEFORESTATION

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Chatham House hosted a workshop on reducing emissions from tropical deforestation from 16-17 April 2007, at Chatham House in London, UK. Approximately 30 participants from governments, international and non-governmental organizations, and other experts discussed options for advancing negotiations on reducing emissions and explored the advantages and disadvantages of such options. Participants discussed, inter alia: drivers of deforestation and their implications; monitoring, definitions and reference periods; implementation and costs; specific national needs; and scope, demand and supply. Link to further information Workshop report
WORLD BANK/IMF DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE ADDRESSES MDGs AND A LOW-CARBON ECONOMY

The Development Committee, a forum of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that facilitates intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues, met on 15 April 2007, in Washington DC, US, on the occasion of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings. During the session Committee members reviewed progress on actions, resources and policies needed to accelerate progress toward achieving development goals, drawing on data and analysis in the Fourth Annual Global Monitoring Report. They also reviewed the World Bank Group's Africa Action Plan and a report on the evolving Aid Architecture. The Committee highlighted that progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been uneven across countries and sectors, noting that many challenges remain. It noted that official development assistance declined in real terms in 2006, and that pledges in 2005 to double aid for Africa by 2010 have not yet translated into an increase of on-the-ground programme support. The Committee also considered a progress report on improving access to finance for clean energy in developing countries to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy. The progress report presented to the Development Committee notes in the opening paragraphs that available funding is insufficient to support the three main pillars of a clean energy strategy: to provide a significant buy-down of the incremental costs of a transition to a low carbon economy, to climate-proof development at scale, and to increase access of modern energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conservation group Friends of the Earth International marked the Bank's “Spring” meetings by calling on governments to direct the Bank to end its support for oil, coal and gas-related projects. Friends of the Earth claims that the Bank invests US$2-3 billion a year in greenhouse gas-producing energy projects. The conservation group also organized a meeting in collaboration with other organizations to consider the development impacts of climate change, including disasters, conflict, food security, water and health. For its part, the World Bank has issued various reports and news releases in recent years highlighting its commitment to help countries combat climate change and its efforts to incorporate the issue in its development operations. Links to further information IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings Website Development Committee Communiqué The World Bank Group action plan on clean energy for develop... Fourth Annual Global Monitoring Report Friends of the Earth press release, 13 April 2007 FOE Development event website, April 2007 World Bank climate change webpage
UNFCCC REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON ADAPTATION HIGHLIGHTS ASIAN CONCERNS

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Asian Regional Workshop on Adaptation, which met in Beijing, China, from 11-13 April 2007, highlighted Asian concerns related to climate change adaptation and vulnerability reduction, with a view to identifying specific adaptation needs to be considered under the UNFCCC. Participants discussed recent developments under the UNFCCC, climate change in Asia, integrated impact and vulnerability assessments, agriculture and food security, water resources, coastal zones, health, mountainous regions, support for adaptation in the context of sustainable development, and South-South and North-South collaboration.

Links to further information IISD RS coverage Workshop website
IPCC WORKING GROUP II APPROVES NEW REPORT

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II has approved its contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The Working Group, which met in Brussels, Belgium, from 2-6 April 2007, went past its scheduled 5 April deadline, as delegates sought to finalize the report. However, after extensive discussions, participants approved “Climate Change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability,” including the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) and the underlying report and Technical Summary. The key findings of the SPM emphasize the observed and projected impacts of climate change, including accumulating evidence that changes in many physical and biological systems are linked to anthropogenic warming. According to the SPM, observed and projected impacts of climate change include various changes in the natural environment, flooding and food and water shortages. Among other things, the SPM states that 20-30% of plant and animal species are likely to face extinction with temperature rises exceeding 1.5-2.5°C. It indicates that hundreds of millions of people will be exposed to increased water stress, many millions more people are anticipated to be exposed to flooding every year, and access to food in many African countries is projected to be severely compromised. The SPM also highlights other vulnerabilities and potential negative impacts of climate change on sustainable development. It states that adaptation will be necessary to the already unavoidable warming, but many impacts can be avoided, reduced or delayed by mitigation. The release of the report elicited responses from various groups. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who has identified climate change as one of his top priorities, urged countries to take decisive actions to alleviate the worst consequences of climate change. Meanwhile, the head of the UNFCCC urged work on a future international agreement: “These projected impacts tell us that we urgently need to launch an agreement on future international action to combat climate change, as well as look for effective ways to generate the funds needed for adaptation,” said the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Yvo de Boer. Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace called for emissions cuts as a matter of urgency, while Greenpeace accused Saudi Arabia and China of seeking to weaken certain aspects of the latest IPCC report. Links to further information Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis, 8 April 2007 IPCC Working Group II Summary for Policymakers, 13 April 2007 UN news story, 9 April 2007 UNFCCC news release, 6 April 2007 Friends of the Earth International news release, 6 April 2007 Greenpeace news release, 6 April 2007 BBC news report, 6 April 2007
IPCC WORKING GROUP II UNDERWAY

A meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II is just concluding in Brussels. The meeting, taking place from 2-5 April, is expected to consider and approve the Group's contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report, 'Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,' including the Summary for Policymakers, the Technical Summary, and the underlying report. The meeting is the second of four major IPCC events in 2007, culminating in the expected approval of the IPCC's Synthesis Report in November. The events have already generated considerable public and media interest. Link to further information IISDRS coverage of IPCC Working Group II

March 2007

VIENNA MEETINGS TARGET ENERGY EFFICIENCY, KYOTO MECHANISMS

Two back-to-back meetings in Vienna, Austria, have focused on industrial energy efficiency and the Kyoto Protocol's flexible mechanisms. The Seminar on Industrial Energy Efficiency Projects in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation took place from 19-20 March 2007, and provided a forum for business and industry to discuss energy efficiency projects under these two mechanisms. Immediately following the seminar, an Expert Group Meeting on Industrial Energy Efficiency and Energy Management Standards was held, from 21-22 March 2007. This meeting focused on the practical aspects of optimizing the efficiency of electric motor and other industrial energy systems. The meetings were arranged by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in partnership with other groups. Link to further information IISDRS coverage of the Vienna meetings
G8+5 GROUP TALKS CLIMATE CHANGE

A high-level meeting of the G8 group of major industrialized countries plus five major developing countries on the environment has taken place in Potsdam, Germany from 15-17 March 2007. The meeting was held in the lead up to the G8 Summit in June. ”Environment ministers were able to identify a common base, in spite of differing opinions. After this meeting, I am confident that we will be able to enter into comprehensive negotiations on the future of climate policy at the end of this year in Bali,” said Germany's Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel after the Potsdam event. Links to further information German statement, 17 March 2007 ENS news report, 16 March 2007
EU AGREES TO CUT EMISSIONS, BOOST RENEWABLES

Leaders from the European Union have agreed targets for the year 2020 to cut carbon dioxide emissions, boost renewable energy, and support biofuels. The deal, which was agreed in Brussels on 9 March following a two-day leaders' summit, commits EU countries to cut emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by the year 2020, and to boost renewable energy's share of total energy use to 20%, also by 2020. In addition, a 10% minimum target on the use of biofuels in transport was agreed for 2020. The deal was reportedly reached only after France agreed to the renewable energy target, which it had previously sought to link to the nuclear energy issue. Each country's exact responsibility in reaching the targets apparently still needs to be negotiated. In addition to these targets, EU leaders also contemplated committing to deeper emissions cuts of 30% by 2020, if other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions, and economically more advanced developing countries also contribute. Europe's political leaders hailed the deal as a sign of European leadership on climate change and energy issues. Links to further information EurActiv, 9 March 2007 BBC news report, 9 March 2007
SEMINAR CONSIDERS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IN ASIA

A meeting has been held to consider technology transfer relating to the energy sector in Asia. The Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) Industry Joint Seminar on Successful Cases of Technology Transfer in Asian Countries, which took place from 7-8 March 2007, in New Delhi, India, provided an opportunity to review best practices for technology transfer in the Asian region, with particular focus on biomass fuel, biomass power generation and the role of Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). Organized by the CTI in cooperation with The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), India, and supported by the International Centre for Environmental Technology Transfer (ICETT), Japan, the seminar was attended by 120 participants from seven Asian countries. Link to further information IISDRS coverage
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PREPARATORY MEETING PREPARES FOR CSD-15

The Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the fifteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15), which convened from 26 February to 2 March 2007, at UN headquarters in New York, provided a forum to discuss policy options and possible actions related to the issues on the CSD-15 agenda. The IPM accordingly conducted broad-based discussions on energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change. Delegates' deliberations were reflected in a Chair's negotiating document, which is expected to form the basis for further discussions and negotiations during the 30 April to 11 May 2007 meeting of CSD-15. Link to further information IISD RS coverage

February 2007

COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE DISCUSSED

A workshop has been held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to discuss adaptation to climate change at the community level. The second international workshop on community-based adaptation to climate change, held from 24-28 February 2007, was organized jointly by the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies (BCAS), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and RING Alliance of Policy Research Organizations. The workshop consisted of two days of field trips to visit community-based adaptation initiatives, followed by three days of discussions in Dhaka. The workshop aimed to share the latest developments in community-based adaptation programmes, priorities and solutions with a view to integrating the lessons into national and international development programmes. Outputs from the workshop included a two-page summary with key points from the discussions, a 10-15 page report, an edited volume of collected papers presented at the workshop, and the formation of a community-based adaptation network (CBA Network). Link to further information IISDRS coverage
POLITICIANS PUSH FOR POST-2012 PACT

Politicians from the G8, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa have agreed on the need to make rapid progress on an international framework for addressing climate change post-2012, when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period ends. The support for progress came at the Legislators Forum on Climate Change, a meeting of over 100 parliamentarians and others held on 14 February 2007, in Washington, DC, US. The group issued an official statement calling for a global deal by 2009 that involves targets from both developed and developing countries. Specifically, the text urged the G8 and 5 major developing countries meeting for the G8 Summit in July 2007 to agree on the key elements of a post-2012 framework, and to support the launching of global negotiations at the UN climate conference in Bali in December 2007, with a view to concluding them by 2009. The statement also notes that elements of a deal could include: long-term targets for developed countries; appropriate targets for developing countries; incentives for measures to reduce deforestation, incentives for sustainable development policies and measures in developing countries; programmes focused on capacity building, access to technology and financial incentives to help developing countries; and support for the most vulnerable developing countries. Links to further information Official Statement from the meeting, 16 February 2007 Further information from GLOBE (the organizers), February 2007 ENDS Europe Daily/WBCSD, 16 February 2007 BBC news report, 16 February 2007
CLIMATE CHANGE AND VULNERABILITY CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS ROLE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

A Climate Change and Vulnerability Conference, which convened from 13-14 February 2007 in the Peace Palace of The Hague, the Netherlands, focused on adaptation for small island states and low lying communities. The University for Peace (UNPEACE) organized the meeting during which approximately 150 participants: discussed scientific concerns, policies, strategies, and technical alternatives; considered current and potential capacity building roles for higher education institutions; and considered potential corporate contributions and international partnerships. A Chair's Conclusions document emphasizes the need for adaptation actions in response to climate change along with the need to recognize the rights of low island States to continue to exist or be compensated for their loss of territory. It also highlights a role for UPEACE in contributing to facilitating further forms of collaboration with university networks in the North and providing capacity building in the fields of conflict prevention and resolution. Links to further information Climate Change and Vulnerability Conference website Alliance for UPEACE Draft Chair's Conclusions
AQUATERRA 2007, THE WORLD FORUM ON DELTA AND COASTAL DEVELOPMENT, EXAMINES WAYS OF TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE

Aquaterra is an international conference and exhibition on development in coastal and delta regions, which focuses on managing risks and creating opportunities to meet the challenges of deltaic and coastal development at all levels, from economic and financial to safety and planning issues. Aquaterra 2007 took place from 7-9 February 2007, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Prince of Orange, who was recently appointed chairman of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, opened the meeting. The forum presentations explored a variety of positive ways of tackling the effects of climate change and concluded, inter alia, that: people are not going to move from threatened areas and ongoing development is important for a healthy economy; the costs of land reclamation are more than compensated for by the results; and solutions permitted by advances in technology such as the creation of islands in front of the coast and the development of rivers and lakes are economically viable and can be carried out in an ecologically responsible way (ENB Sources). Link to further information Aquaterra's webpage
IPCC WORKING GROUP I ADOPTS CLIMATE SCIENCE REPORT

The Tenth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I has adopted its contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), titled “Climate Change 2007: the Physical Science Basis.” The Working Group's Summary for Policy Makers was agreed at a meeting held in Paris from 29 January to 1 February. The Group found that there is more than a 90 percent probability that human action has contributed towards recent climate change, up from its estimate of a more than 66 percent probability in 2001. The latest Summary also contains a series of projections for future impacts, including on temperatures, sea level rise and extreme weather events. More than 350 members of the media were present for the release of the Summary on Friday, 2 February, and the report received widespread media coverage, with many environmental groups suggesting that the IPCC's findings should prompt stronger action. Link to further information IISD RS coverage