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Delegates at Bangkok Climate Change Talks Agree on AWG-LCA 14 Agenda

8 April 2011: The 16th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 16), the 14th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA 14), and three pre-sessional workshops convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3-8 April 2011.

Over 2000 participants from governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academia, the private sector and the media attended the meetings. This marked the first round of negotiations on climate change following the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16), which convened in Cancun, Mexico, in November-December 2010. Delegates in Bangkok set out to adopt the agenda and organization of work for 2011, to enable the Ad Hoc Working Groups (AWGs) to achieve their mandates in the lead up to COP 17, to be held in December 2011, in Durban, South Africa.

On 3 April, a pre-sessional workshop on assumptions and conditions related to the attainment of quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets by developed country parties convened to discuss presentations and submissions by parties. On 4 April, a pre-sessional workshop on mitigation actions submitted by developing country parties, underlying assumptions, and any support needed for implementation of these actions discussed presentations and submissions by parties. The expert workshop on the Technology Mechanism took place from 4-5 April and focused on means of operationalizing the institutions of the Technology Mechanism, including the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).

AWG-LCA 14 and AWG-KP 16 convened from 5-8 April and will continue in Bonn, Germany, in June. The AWG-LCA opened with discussions on the agenda for the meeting, but parties could not reach agreement on whether to work on the basis of the agenda proposed by the AWG-LCA Chair or the one proposed by the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China). The AWG-LCA met all week in informal consultations, informal plenaries and drafting groups to resolve the impasse. On the last day of the meeting, a stocktaking plenary was convened by AWG-LCA Chair Reifsnyder, who presented the new provisional agenda (FCCC/AWGLCA/2011/L.1), which parties adopted. The agenda includes main sub-headings on: preparation of a comprehensive and balanced outcome to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012; review of the definition of its scope and development of its modalities; continued discussion of legal options with the aim of completing an agreed outcome; and other matters, including countries with economies in transition and those with special circumstances.

The AWG-KP met three times in a contact group on further commitments for Annex I parties and debate focused on how to address the political and technical issues that must be resolved in order to reach agreement on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

In a press release following the conclusion of the meeting, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres urged countries to push ahead with their work to aim for another significant step in addressing global climate change in 2011. Commenting on the AWG-LCA agenda, Figueres said, “I feel that we now have a solid basis to move forward collectively and that governments can deliver further good results this year, provided every effort is made to compromise and show the necessary flexibility to achieve that goal.” On the future of the Kyoto Protocol she noted "a strong desire to build on the Kyoto rules and a desire to find a political solution in 2011." [IISD RS Earth Negotiations Bulletin Coverage] [UNFCCC Press Release]