UNFCCC Executive Secretary at Informal Meeting Stresses Need to Rebuild Confidence in the Negotiation Process

2 March 2010: Speaking at the eighth Informal Meeting on Further Action against Climate Change, which took place in Tokyo, Japan, from 1-2 March 2010, Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, stressed the need for the climate change negotiations to get off to a good start following Copenhagen, and for confidence in the process to be rebuilt.

Recognizing that Copenhagen was "disappointing to some," he outlined the reasons why it was nonetheless a crucial event in the negotiating process. He recalled that, as of 18 February, 40 developed countries had submitted their 2020 targets with various base years, and 30 developing countries had communicated information on their mitigation plans, giving clear signals that “parties want global climate change action under the UNFCCC to move forward.”

He underlined that the priority for 2010 will be “to reach consensus on as many of the outstanding issues as possible to allow for the adoption of an agreed outcome in Cancun,” the venue for the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. De Boer classified the issues that remained unresolved in Copenhagen under three categories and underscored the need for parties to agree on “effective, transparent and inclusive working methods to take the work forward in a focused manner in 2010.” He said the focus should be on: clarity on the future of the Kyoto Protocol; clear leadership by Annex I Parties; and  the establishment of a fully operational architecture that makes it possible for developing countries to act on climate change.

De Boer further listed the points of convergence in the Copenhagen Accord, which he said could be used to conclude negotiations under the Bali Road Map in Mexico. However, he highlighted the need for parties to “know and plan for what they are working towards,” in particular, to agree on the definition of “legally binding” and “compliance.” Emphasizing the need to focus on substantive issues, he said “the negotiations would benefit from being somewhat depoliticized.” [The Speech]