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Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Discusses Prospects for Durban Climate Change Conference

27 April 2011: The tenth meeting of the Leaders' Representative level of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) on Energy and Climate was hosted by the European Commission and took place in Brussels, Belgium, from 26-27 April 2011.

According to the Co-chairs' summary of the event, the session brought together 17 ministers and officials from major economies. Representatives from the UN, Denmark, Egypt, Maldives, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also participated in the session. Argentina, Barbados, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia had also been invited to send representatives.

During the meeting, participants discussed how to advance prospects for a successful outcome in Durban that is ambitious yet pragmatic, and provides opportunities for Africa. In light of the significance, amount and challenge of this work, many expressed concern about the pace of progress this year and emphasized their support for the present and incoming Presidencies to organize informal discussions in support of the negotiations.

Participants stressed the need for participants to the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011, to operationalize the balanced package agreed in Cancun. Several expressed the view that the mitigation workshops should be used to understand mitigation listings and assumptions and conditions underlying them. The value of making the technology mechanism and adaptation committee and work programme operational in Durban was also underlined.

Concerning finance, participants emphasized the importance of transparency in the distribution of fast start funding. Some further expressed the view that the Green Fund discussions and those in the Convention on mitigation and transparency are related and will need to move forward together in Durban.

Participants engaged in a discussion of “legal options” as set forth in Cancun. A point that ran through the discussion was that the issue requires more sophisticated and subtle analysis than a simple yes or no answer. While all participants agreed on the need for environmental integrity, substantial differences concerning a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol persisted. [Co-Chairs' Summary of the Tenth Meeting at the Leaders' Representative Level of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate]