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Cancuún México 29 de noviembre - 10 de diciembre 
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Nigeria urges progress at climate talks

Daily Independent

Nigeria at the weekend moved to restore waning confidence at the on-going United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, as negotiations appeared to stall, calling on all parties at the talks to put aside deepening divisions between developed and developing country delegations and harmonise positions for the sake of the planet.

The 16th session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, COP16) - which also serves as the 6th Conference of Meeting Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) - enters its high-level segment today, but with parties again drifting into traditional hard-line positions at the weekend. There were fresh fears at the conference venue that critical agreements needed to curb rising global temperatures may again elude the current summit.

Scientific studies have indicated that the average temperature of the earth’s surface has risen by 0.74 degrees C since the late 1800s and could increase by another 1.8° C to 4° C by the year 2100 should the necessary action not be taken. Even at the minimum predicted increase, the change will be larger than any century-long trend in the last 10,000 years.

The rising temperatures have been attributed to 150 years of industrialisation and the consequent burning of ever-greater quantities of oil, gasoline, and coal; the cutting of forests; and, the practice of certain farming methods.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted as an international agreement linked to the UNFCC. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions . These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.

Key areas under which governments meeting in Mexico are expected to reach a deal on “a balanced set of decisions under both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol” include pacts to launch action on adaptation, technology transfer and forests; along with creating a new fund for long-term climate finance.

Under the Convention, the unresolved issues include the accountability for implementation of mitigation targets and actions; the mobilization of long-term finance, the creation of a new fund for this and the accompanying accountability of its delivery, along with the understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts.

Additionally, under the Kyoto Protocol, politically charged issues include the need to avoid a gap after the first commitment period and the importance of having clarity on the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, along with the continuation of engaging the private sector through the Kyoto Protocol’s market mechanisms beyond 2012.

“We are uncomfortable that once more, there appears to have been a loss of momentum in the negotiations over the past week and that going by the trend in recent days, the major issues are being left to be resolved as political decisions at the ministerial session,” Ambassador Ositadinma Anaedu told delegates at the plenary session at the weekend.

Key elements under Nigeria’s position towards arriving at a balanced set of decisions under both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol at the ongoing talks, Ambassador Anaedu stressed, would involve:

• A decision on the overarching legal form, comprising a two-track legally binding outcome, including a mandate to continue negotiations under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), as well as the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) with a timeframe;

• the adoption of implementation decisions by the summit for the period unto and beyond 2010 without undermining future negotiations; and

• the arrival at a consensus on the need for new and improved institutional arrangements, particularly for adaptation as well as the means of implementation, notably finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

However, President of the Conference and Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, moved to douse tension at the talks on Sunday when she responded that the presence of world ministers at the Conference would only help speed up the negotiations on the strategy to follow in the fight against Climate Change and not become a parallel summit.

“Ministers will not be expected to draft compromise language, but to help identify where balance is to be found”, she explained during the informal session on Sunday.

She assure that “they will not take the delegate’s responsibilities in any way. The ministers are not preparing any secret document to present on their own, and they will be available to discuss not only with other ministers, but also with the delegates,” she added.

Earlier at a session to assured progress made during talks over the first week of the summit, Cantellano, had stated that she was confident an agreement on the Kyoto Protocol could be reached at the Cancun conference, which ends on Friday.

“We don’t have it in our hands right now, but it is possible to achieve it. This is important for not only the future of the Climate Change scheme, but also in general the future of multilateralism and the United Nations that transcends this specific topic of Climate Change.”

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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