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BB200801, News in Brief

Bali Conference: the outcome

05.02.2008

The United Nations climate change conference, held in Bali in December last year, brought together 10,000 participants, including representatives of over 180 countries. After two weeks of discussions, culminating in all night negotiations and a heated session on Saturday afternoon, the Bali conference succeeded in producing a roadmap for negotiations on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol. “Bali has delivered what it needed to – a very ambitious agenda [including] an agenda and an end-date”, said UNFCC secretary-general Yvo de Boer.

At one stage towards the end, this goal appeared well-nigh impossible, with the US looking ready to scupper the negotiations by rejecting the draft final treaty. A host of other countries expressed their concern and managed to persuade the US to withdraw its opposition. The European Parliament stated that it was "pleased that the attitude of the US administration has evolved over the last few years – from a reluctance to enter into negotiations to, as is now the case, specific commitments".

The roadmap stipulated that developing countries would put ‘quantified emission reductions’ in place. Moreover, developing countries agreed to adopt ‘nationally appropriate mitigation actions’. The roadmap also includes potential financial support to halt deforestation, which is a significant contributor to GHG emissions, and technology transfers between industrialised countries and developing ones, to help the latter develop clean energy sources.

The roadmap does not contain specific GHG reduction targets, as the EU would have liked, for these were rejected by the US and other countries. However, it does refer in a footnote to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, which include a goal of 25-40% reductions for industrialised compared with 1990 levels.

There was a general sense of relief at the outcome of the conference. "These were tough negotiations but we have succeeded in agreeing on a roadmap for negotiations that meets the European Union's main demands,” EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said in a statement. Four negotiation sessions will be held before the roadmap expires at the United Nations climate change conference to be held at the end of 2009 in Copenhagen.

The European Wind Energy Association together with the European Renewable Energy Council, Greenpeace, and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) organised a side event during the conference to present the energy (r)evolution report - a sustainable world energy outlook. The report presents the way forward to reduce global CO2 emissions by 50% in 2050 whilst providing a secure and affordable energy supply. The four organisations also had a joint exhibition stand in a prime location in the main conference centre and had numerous meetings with delegations and other business NGOs.

Read GWEC’s press release on the Bali conference

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