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Bangkok Climate Change talks conclude

In his statement to the press at the end of the week-long Climate Change Talks in Bangkok, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, announced that a timetable had been agreed for the negotiating process leading up to a long-term international climate change agreeement to be concluded in Copenhagen in two years time. “The train to Copenhagen has left the station,” he said.

Mr. de Boer said that the two-year work programme broke up the huge task of reaching this agreement into “bite-sized, manageable chunks of work.”

He explained that Parties would consider the themes adaptation, mitigation, technology , finance and a shared vision for long-term cooperative action in conjunction with each other at every session to make progress, and expressed his satisfaction that the critical issues were being discussed at an early stage.

Parties will consider the detail of these critical themes during the course of this year. Three further meetings will be held in 2008, and at least four in 2009 .

The UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan in December would be important for stocktaking, said Mr. de Boer. One of the main issues there will be research and development of technology, as well as risk management and risk reduction strategies.

With regard to the Ad hoc Working Group under the Kyoto Protocol, he said that a significant outcome had been in laying the foundation for the continuation of the Protocol's market-based mechanisms, adding that this was a very important signal to businesses that the carbon market would continue beyond 2012. “Businesses have been asking for clarity on this, and now they have it,” he said.

The Kyoto Protocol Working Group also agreed to include forest-related activities as a means to achieve emissions reductions in the second commitment period.