Saturday, 11 November 2006

Backgrounder for the climate change conference

From November 6-17, 2006, the UN Climate Change Conference is taking place at the UN office in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting includes the second Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP2) and 12th Conference of the Parties (COP-12) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

At COP/MOP2, parties are taking up issues relating to the protocol’s flexibility mechanisms, particularly the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation. (CDM/JI)

Delegates are discussing parties’ compliance with the protocol and a proposed amendment to the protocol, as well as capacity building. A proposal by Belarus to amend the list of countries with commitments under the Protocol, and a proposal by the Russian Federation on procedures to approve voluntary commitments under the protocol are also significant items on the table. Read the UNFCCC press release (PDF) for details.

A review of the treaty is also mandated for COP/MOP2 under Article 9 of the protocol. In addition, work is also being undertaken to finalise the Adaptation Fund, while a number of financial, administrative and other matters are also being taken up.

COP 12’s agenda includes a review of implementation of commitments and various other provisions of the Convention relating to such matters as the financial mechanism, national communications, technology transfer, capacity building, and the adverse effects of climate change and of implementing the Convention (Article 4.8 and 4.9). Various other topics, including administrative, financial and institutional matters, will also be taken up. A joint COP and COP/MOP high-level segment will take place from 15-17 November.

Other groups meeting in parallel with COP 12 and COP/MOP2 include the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), which are convening for their 25th sessions. At the same time, a third, recently established subsidiary body – the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG) – will hold its second session.

In addition, a second workshop under the recently convened “Dialogue on long-term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention” will take place from 15-16 November. This workshop is likely to focus on “advancing development goals in a sustainable way” and “realising the full potential of market-based opportunities,” and to consider the new Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. In addition to these official meetings, an estimated 130 “side events” are being held on a range of climate change topics.

MOP-2 refers to the 2nd Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (wiki)
COP-12 refers to the 12th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (wiki)

Resources/Links :

Press release [November 6, 2006]: Climate change conference kicks off [PDF]
UNFCCC official backgrounder
Official UNFCCC website
Environment News Bulletin Coverage(ENB): In-depth coverage of all things COP

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