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Ecologic at the Climate Conference in Bali

Ecologic at the Climate Conference in Bali

The UN Climate Conference, held from 2 to 15 December 2007 in Bali, Indonesia, was followed with great interest by a global audience. The conference laid the foundation for negotiations on a comprehensive global climate protection regime post 2012. Ecologic was present at the conference through Dr. Sebastian Oberthür, Senior Associate, Dr. Camilla Bausch, Senior Fellow and Head of Climate and Energy, as well as Michael Mehling, Fellow.

Approximately 10.000 delegates participated in the event in Asia.  Dr. Sebastian Oberthür and Dr. Camilla Bausch were part of the German delegation, while Michael Mehling presented on the legal aspects of a link between carbon markets in Europe and the US at a side-event.

The ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Australia served as a positive prelude to the conference. And yet, the ensuing negotiations were controversial. The main focus of the conference rested on the initiation of a process to create a future UN climate regime. The release of the IPPC’s Fourth Assessment Report with its disquieting results and the award of the Nobel Prize to the IPPC for its work increased public attention, thereby heightening political pressure for action and success.

As a result, a “roadmap” was developed for future negotiations. Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Bali Action Plan lays out the agenda and timetable for negotiations. The Parties will address topics such as “measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation (commitments or) actions” for all countries including the US and China. An agreement should be reached by 2009 in Copenhagen.  The road to a future agreement, however, still appears to be rocky.  This became particularly apparent when the US distanced itself from the decision only hours after the agreement had been reached.  It is not clear how US ambivalence will affect future processes.  In any case, it is clear that the achievement of an ambitious, comprehensive global regime to prevent dangerous climate change will be difficult.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, negotiations on the future obligations of industrialized nations continue in the Ad Hoc Working Group on Future Action. In the past, especially the so-called „ranges“ have been subject to controversial discussions. This is unlikely to change. Furthermore, the negotiations on the second review according to Article 9 of the Kyoto Protocol have not been easy. Finally, a decision was made to address issues such as implementation, institutional aspects, as well as the flexible mechanisms.

The media and the public welcomed the adoption of the Bali Roadmap. But it remains clear that negotiation of mandates will not prevent or delay climate change.  Strict rules, limitation targets, and a change in the lifestyles especially of industrialised countries are needed.  Their achievement remains a challenge, which society and politics must rise to meet. 

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Keywords: Climate, COP, MOP, COP/MOP, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, Kyoto, Kioto, Bausch, Oberthür, Mehling, Flexible Mechanisms, Bali, Indonesia, Adaptation,  UN, Future Regime, Article 9, USA, China, Bali Roadmap, Reduction targets, post 2012.