Bonn Informal Climate Change Talks Conclude with Calls to Pick Up Speed

© ENB14 August 2009: The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) held intersessional informal consultations in Bonn, Germany, from 10-14 August 2009 (also referred to as Bonn III).

The two AWGs are scheduled to conclude their work by the 15th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 15) and the fifth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5), to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009.

The AWG-LCA focused on how to proceed with the 200-page long revised negotiating text (FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/INF.1), which reflects deliberations held at the sixth session of the AWG-LCA in June 2009. The negotiating text covers the key elements of the Bali Action Plan (decision 1/CP.13), namely a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, mitigation, adaptation and finance, as well as technology and capacity building. After a week of consultations by five main informal groups and several sub-groups on mitigation, the AWG-LCA began to produce reading guides, tables, matrices and non-papers aimed at consolidating text and facilitating negotiations at the AWG's ninth session, scheduled to take place from 28 September-9 October 2009, in Bangkok, Thailand. The various tools will be compiled in a new information document that the Chair intends to make available before AWG-LCA 9. The revised negotiating text, in turn, will remain largely as it was at the beginning of the informal Bonn III consultations.

Under the AWG-KP, discussions continued on Annex I parties' emission reductions beyond the first commitment period ending in 2012. In addition, parties resumed consideration of texts related to potential consequences and other issues in the AWG-KP's work programme (FCCC/KP/AWG/2008/8), including land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) and the flexibility mechanisms. Given that the informal session was not mandated to adopt conclusions, the AWG-KP's work at the informal session will be taken into account in documents that the AWG-KP Chair will prepare for Bangkok. Technical exercises related to Annex I parties' emission reductions were widely seen as being among the most useful results of the session. Several participants stressed, however, the need to switch gears and make faster progress.

At the close of Bonn III, Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, stated that only limited progress had been made at the meeting, although he noted that “governments did get down to some practicalities in the areas of adaptation, technology and capacity building.” He underscored that the clock is ticking and called for negotiations to “considerably pick up speed for the world to achieve a successful result at Copenhagen.” [IISD Coverage][UNFCCC press release]