Bangkok Climate Change Meeting Aims For Draft Deal For Copenhagen 28/09/2009 by Sinfah Tunsarawuth for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)BANGKOK – Government officials and private stakeholders were urged Monday to strike differences from the 280 pages of negotiating text in preparing a draft that could become a global agreement on climate change in December 2009. Anders Turesson, representative of the Swedish presidency of the European Union, told a press conference that despite some headway made recently by a series of meetings, “we notice that the negotiation process is facing serious problems and serious difficulties.” He said the current negotiation text is “excessive and unmanageable”. Connie Hedegaard, minister of climate and energy of Denmark, said in her opening remarks on Monday that delegates in the Bangkok meeting had to lay the foundation for cabinet ministers to make decisions at the planned Copenhagen meeting in December. For the text of the planned agreement, she said: “Bearing this in mind; my message to you is still: keep it simple, keep it political and keep in short.” The 28 September – 9 October meeting in Bangkok, participated by more than 4,000 delegates from 177 countries, is part of a series of major negotiating sessions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) leading up to the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December, the deadline that has been set for reaching a global climate change agreement after two years of negotiations. Many delegates to the meeting said that remaining issues are greater emission cut of greenhouse gases by developed countries, the commitment by developing countries to contribute to the emission cut, and the finance and technology transfer needed by the developing countries to help them make the adaptation. While many developed nations have set targets for greenhouse gas emissions cuts, the developing world has yet come up with any plan of their contribution to the prevention of global warming reaching the dangerous levels, Turesson said at the press conference. Artur Runge-Metzger of the European Commission said at the same press conference that developing countries are not demanded to actually reduce their emission as this might hurt their economic growth and efforts to eradicate poverty, but they are asked to cut the growth of emissions as developing countries are producing greenhouse gases at a rapidly growing rate. China, for example, has now become the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, surpassing the United States, he said. The EU said in a statement that European nations have committed “unconditionally” to cut their emissions to at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and have committed to scale up their emissions cut to 30 percent provided “other industrialised countries agree to make comparable reductions and economically more advanced developing countries contribute adequately to a global deal.” Other delegates said the EU has so far made the largest pledge in terms of emission cut. Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC executive secretary, said all major industrialised nations have set initial targets for their emissions cut, but it did not add up to what it needs to avoid the rise of the globe’s temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial temperature. Scientists have pointed out that in avoiding that temperature rise, all industrialised nations need to cut their greenhouse gas emission by 25 percent to 40 percent below 1990 levels. De Boer said what he would like to see at the end of Bangkok meeting is the emissions cut plan, plans by developing countries on adaptation programs and the financial support they need for these programmes, and the practical plan for technology transfer to developing nations. It is not clear when IP issues will be addressed in Bangkok. There are several proposals in the text related to technology transfer and patenting of green technology (IPW, Environment, 16 September 2009). IP issues will come up under the negotiations of the ad-hoc working group on long-term cooperative action, under the agenda item on technology development and transfer, currently on the agenda as Item 3. Some other delegates said as developing countries have yet come up with their plans, the developed nations could not determine the amount of funding needed to support their efforts. The EU said in the statement it sees as essential for the draft agreement to address, among other things, binding emission reductions by all industrialised countries based on comparable efforts, appropriate action by developing countries to limit emissions, a framework for action on adaptation to climate change, and a comprehensive package on technology cooperation and funding to accelerate development of a low-carbon global economy. However, some major developing countries – such as China, India and Brazil – have recently made commitment to deal with global warming, which was welcomed by the United States government, Jonathan Pershing, deputy special envoy for climate change of the US Department of State, told another press conference. He said the US itself announced 10 days ago new carbon dioxide emission standards for cars and trucks in the US, which would save 950 million tons of carbon dioxide. Pershing said though the US government is not a party to the Kyoto Protocol, it wants to be part of the new agreement expected at Copenhagen and has been actively working with other countries to achieve that. He said what the US is working on domestically to cut emissions is comparable to what the EU has committed to do. Kaitlin Mara contributed to this report. 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