An international climate protection conference under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be opened in Bonn today. Representatives of about 160 states will use the next two weeks to prepare, at working level, the Climate Change Conference which is to take place in Bali in December. At the meeting in Bonn, the EU under the German Presidency wants to lay the foundations for an agreement on the launch of a negotiation process in December. The objective of the EU is to make sure that the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will also be the 3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, will decide on the start of a global and comprehensive negotiations about a climate protection agreement for the post-2012 period with a view to ensure that global average temperature will not exceed preindustrial levels by more than 2°C. The goal is to conclude, by 2009, negotiations on a new agreement which ensures that there is no gap after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
The publication of the latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted once again that swift and resolute action is imperative to protect our climate. This was also underlined by Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel on the occasion of the climate protection conference in Bonn which will begin today. Gabriel, who is currently the chair of the EU Council of Environment Ministers, stated: “Investments in climate protection today protect us against the destruction caused by unchecked climate change. This year, we have to lay important groundwork for a multilateral climate protection agreement for the post2012 period. Decisive signals for the further development of the Frame-work Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol were sent at the European Council meeting in March.”
The industrialised countries have contributed most to climate change, developing countries will be most strongly affected by the impacts of climate change. In view of their responsibility, industrialised countries have to considerably reduce their emissions, whereas the rapidly developing newly industrialising countries have to decouple economic growth and increasing emissions.
This spring, the Heads of State and Government of the European Union agreed on an ambitious climate protection and energy policy. This sends a clear signal to the climate protection negotiations in Bali. The EU is willing to commit to a 30 per cent emission reduction by 2020 as compared to 1990 in the framework of a global climate protection agreement if other industrialised countries commit to undertaking similar efforts and if the developing countries make an appropriate contribution to such a regime. Without prejudice to its position in international negotiations, the EU has decided to reduce its emissions by at least 20 per cent in absence of such agreement. In this perspective, the EU will increase the share of renewable energies in primary energy consumption to 20 per cent by 2020, biofuels are to reach a share of 10 per cent in fuel consumptionand Energy efficiency is to be increased by 20 per cent. Last but not least, the EU Emission Trading Scheme will be further strengthened and extended from 2013.
According to the decision of the EU Council, global temperature rise should be limited to a maximum of two degrees compared to preindustrial levels. This ensures that adaptation to climate change remains possible and affordable. In order to meet the two-degree target, global emissions have to be halved as compared to 1990 by the middle of this century.
The goal of the conference in Bonn is to develop options for the negotiations in Bali. The EU will present its climate and energy policy goals in the discussions on mitigation potential in the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties. The dialogue under the Framework Convention will focus in particular on the issues of adaptation and technology. The Bonn meeting will also serve to prepare a decision to be taken in Bali on the next steps to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries. Together with emission reductions of industrialised countries and the contributions of developing countries these three topics will be key elements of a future climate protection regime.
Moreover, participants will discuss the implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. A large number of technical and methodological decisions will be taken or prepared in this context.