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June will be a ‘watershed month’ for climate talks – WWF

1st June 2010

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) started in Bonn, Germany on Monday, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said that June would be a "watershed" month for global efforts towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future.

The talks began on Monday, and the G8 and G20 summits later in June could create momentum towards a number of breakthroughs needed for a global climate agreement that would speed up the race to the low-carbon future.


"June is a turning point for climate politics after a period of confusion and soul-searching since Copenhagen," said WWF Global Climate Initiative climate policy head Kathrin Gutmann.

"Copenhagen didn't deliver the full treaty the world needs, but it brought us very close to agreement on a few crucial elements of the package, so Bonn is about picking things up where Copenhagen left them, for breakthroughs on these elements in Mexico later this year."


In WWF's view, negotiators in Bonn could push some important debates close to conclusion, for example, on forest protection driven by carbon finance - the so-called REDD+ agenda - and on creative financing for low-carbon action and climate resilience in developing countries.

"We are at the verge of agreeing to stop deforestation and to gear up for dealing with a changing climate through adaptation", said Gutmann.

"Securing breakthroughs in these areas at the talks in Mexico this December would put the world in a good position to wrap such key elements into a global agreement at the next summit in South Africa in 2011, marking an important deadline as the Kyoto Protocol needs a new lease on life by 2012."

WWF advocates a similar step by step approach to closing, what it called the gigaton gap - a mismatch of emission reduction levels pledged by countries in the Copenhagen Accord and the levels that are actually needed to secure a climate resilient future.

"Countries will win the gigaton challenge if they speed up the low-carbon transformation of their economies, close the loopholes that undermine their national action plans, and work together to extend their transformative efforts to new sources of pollution that haven't been regulated so far," said Gutmann.

"Using G8 and G20 to mobiliSe funds for clean development and the Bonn talks to sort out building blocks for a climate agreement will give the international community the important atmosphere of trust that got lost during the Danish disaster last December," stated Gutmann.

Some 182 governments were represented at Bonn, and South Africa's negotiating delegation was present. From Tuesday, government delegates would begin discussing a new negotiating text under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention.

"Climate negotiations over the next two weeks will be on track if they keep focused on a common way forward towards a concrete and realistic goal in Cancun. There is a growing consensus on what that the goal for Cancun can be - namely, a full, operational architecture to implement effective, collective climate action," said UNFCCC chairperson Yvo de Boer.




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