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Ecologic at the UN Climate Conference in Poznan


Ecologic at the UN Climate Conference in Poznan

The UN Climate Conference in Poznan, Poland, from 1 to 12 December 2008 was an important stepping stone in the negotiations on the future international climate regime that are set to conclude in Copenhagen in 2009. Ecologic was represented by Dr. Ralph Czarnecki participating as part of the German delegation and Ecologic Director R. Andreas Kraemer chairing a side event.

Although short on tangible outcome, the Poznan conference marked a turning point. At the previous climate conference in December 2007 Parties to the Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol had adopted the “Bali Roadmap”, a framework and timetable for negotiations on a comprehensive future climate regime post 2012, when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol ends. The new regime is to be concluded at the next climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. After the Bali conference, the Parties had spend much time in 2008 on discussing fora, agendas and mandates as well as defining issues for negotiations. As there is not much negotiating time left until Copenhagen, the Poznan conference marked a shift into full negotiation mode.

Ideas of the future regime are beginning to take shape. The Chair of the working group on the future regime under the Climate Change Convention (AWG-LCA) compiled and summarised the views by parties and observers into a comprehensive document. He was given the mandate to develop this document, on the basis of further input from parties, into a draft negotiating text in spring 2009. Under the Kyoto Protocol, discussions focused on defining and achieving future emission reduction targets.

One of the main outcomes was a decision on the Adaptation Fund, adopted in the final night. The conference adopted a series of arrangements in order to enable the Fund to become operational and start funding projects in 2009. The Fund is an innovative mechanism as it is mainly financed through a share of proceeds from projects under the clean development mechanism. Besides the Adaptation Fund, the most controversial issue was whether the share of proceeds should be extended to include the other flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, joint implementation and emissions trading. No agreement was reached on this issue.

Besides the official agenda, there were two important issues frequently discussed at the conference: The EU's climate and energy package as a yardstick of EU leadership; and the expectations of the new US administration under Barack Obama.