Bonn Climate Change Talks

The Bonn Talks included the second major session this year on a strengthened international climate change agreement to be finalized in December 2009 in Copenhagen.

As agreed at the previous session of Climate Change Talks in Bangkok, all five elements of the negotiations - adaptation, mitigation, technology, finance and a shared vision for long-term cooperative action - were discussed under the Convention at the Bonn session.

Long-term cooperation

Regarding the debate on future action, three workshops on adaptation, finance and technology were held, designed to deepen understanding of the issues forming the building blocks of a future agreement.

The negotiating group on long-term cooperative action, the AWG-LCA, which was established at last December's conference in Bali, put several concrete proposals on the table. This resulted in a clearer understanding among governments on what countries would ultimately like to see written into a long-term agreement to address climate change.

While the tabling of these proposals was an important step in moving the negotiating process forward, the need for more targeted proposals in the next sessions was made clear. The AWG-LCA session ended with a call on Parties to submit specific textual proposals which are expected to provide the basis for an initial negotiating text in Poznan in December.

The Kyoto Protocol

Talks also continued in Bonn for the working group on further commitments for Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, the AWG-KP. The objective of these negotiations was to identify means that may be available to industrialized countries under the Kyoto Protocol to reach their emission reduction targets beyond the first phase of the Protocol in 2012. One of the issues under consideration, for example, involved broadening the range of greenhouse gases to include those such as the group of fluorinated ethers.

A round table on the means was held in Bonn. The group also looked at methodologies for estimating emissions and global warming potentials of greenhouse gases, and a  workshop on these matters took place. 

Ongoing work

In addition to the two working groups explicitly designed to negotiate the Copenhagen agreement, ongoing work under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol was taken forward.

Parties agreed on scaling up practical technology transfer efforts, in particular for Africa, small island developing states and least developed countries. This will include collaborative research and development of technologies and technology needs assessments. Parties also agreed to develop performance indicators to monitor and evaluate progress on technology transfer.

Important progress was made on the issue of adaptation. Parties agreed to implement the second phase of the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, during which a wide range of activities will be carried out. This includes expanding the engagement of different organizations, which will have a positive impact on implementing adaptation action. Parties also agreed to streamline funding for adaptation projects.

The next round of climate change negotiations to pave the way for a future agreement in Copenhagen will take place in Accra, Ghana from 21-27 August.