Sign up | Log in



United Nations Climate Change Conference
By Iskra Kirova

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

The hotspot in the political debate on global warming in December 2007 will be the Indonesian island of Bali. Typically a popular tourist destination, Bali will be the venue from 3 to 14 December for over 180 countries, together with observers from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the media. The Bali Conference will begin discussions on the future of the fight against climate change. Expectations are that it would provide a road map on how to proceed to reaching a post-Kyoto agreement, including a firm timetable for the comprehensive negotiations process, which is to be finalized no later than 2009. The two-week meeting will include the sessions of the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its subsidiary bodies, as well as the 3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Conference will build upon the political momentum generated by the UN General Assembly thematic debate on "Climate change as a global challenge" and the high-level meeting on climate change to be convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 24 September.

As expressed by the Indonesian Deputy Minister of Environment at the thematic debate, the Bali meeting should be built on a genuine partnership between developed and developing countries to combat climate change without holding development. Therefore, the key issues to be addressed at the Conference would include not only the question of emission reductions, but also technology transfer and financing of developing countries, to help them cope with adaptation and mitigation of the adverse impacts of climate change.

All participants expressed gratitude for General Assembly President Haya Rashed Al Khalifa's initiative and the Secretary-General's commitment to the cause of fighting global warming.

The key problem was probably best highlighted by Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, Permanent Representative of Egypt, who cautioned against turning the climate change debate into a crisis between developed and developing countries.

Well founded and strongly represented at the debate was the perspective of the lowest emitters and ironically the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change, such as the countries of the African group, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). They expressed anticipation and hope in the success of the Bali meeting and demanded that the international community take immediate action to fulfill its responsibilities. Uganda, on behalf of the African group, underscored the importance of basing the future agreement on the implementation of the "polluter pays" and "differentiated responsibilities" principles. Small island developing States (SIDS) demanded the transfer of technology and significant increases in the level of resources available to island States and low-lying coastal developing countries so that they can cope with climate change adaptation and mitigation while continuing to strive to alleviate poverty.

Positive views were expressed by Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, who gave the concluding address to the expert panel discussions. He saw Bali as the place to begin a specific debate and start doing the arithmetic of climate change. Estimating that all envisioned targets can be met at well under one per cent of world income, he viewed climate change as a solvable, utterly affordable problem, by far not as expensive as feared by all, and a tiny fraction of what the cost of inaction will be. Now that the issue had been taken out of the "high debate" on the reality and urgency of the problem, and whether it should be addressed by the global community, Mr. Sachs expected a success in Bali, where negotiators will finally have a chance to get down to the numbers. The central imperative at the Conference will be to get industrialized countries to pay for adaptation and research and development in order to enable their developing counterparts to gain access to much needed technology. In his view, however, all international players, both rich and poor, will have to be committed to the global effort.

The participation at the thematic debate on climate change of a range of distinguished panellists and many others from various sectors of Government, business and academia, as well as the strong representation of almost half of all UN Member States, placed the priority of the issue at the highest political level. The debate created collective political will and sent an unambiguous signal to the negotiators in Bali. Capturing both the urgency of the situation and the burgeoning opportunities ahead, the discussions injected powerful momentum in the global political process on climate change, leaving no room for delegates in Bali to go back to business as usual and preserve legitimacy.


Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2017 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand